Strong and stable? Theresa May has u-turned on the dementia tax after just four days

There will be an 'absolute limit' on what people pay for care

Last Thursday, as Theresa May launched the Conservative manifesto, she promised to be ‘upfront and honest’ with the electorate. But just four days later, she has announced a major u-turn on the social care plan outlined in her party’s manifesto.

Speaking in Wales, the prime minister announced that their consultation on social care would include an ‘absolute limit’ or cap on the amount people pay for their care costs, which was not included in the document outlined on Thursday.

May looked deeply uneasy as journalist after journalist lined up to accuse the prime minister of buckling under pressure, and of being ‘weak and wobbly’ rather than ‘strong and stable’ as she likes to claim.

Additionally, she refused to confirm what the absolute limit on care costs would be.

May repeatedly insisted that ‘nothing has changed’ with regard to the policy. However, a look at the text of the Conservative manifesto (below) makes clear that a cap was not envisioned as part of the plans.

Backtracking on a manifesto promise before the election has even taken place is essentially unheard of in British politics, but it appears that May panicked when polls showed a dramatically negative reaction to her party’s manifesto.

Responding the the news, Labour’s election coordinator Andrew Gwynne commented:

“Theresa May has thrown her own election campaign into chaos and confusion. She is unable to stick to her own manifesto for more than four days. And by failing to put a figure for a cap on social care costs, she has only added to the uncertainty for millions of older people and their families.

“This is weak and unstable leadership. You can’t trust the Tories – if this is how they handle their own manifesto, how will they cope with the Brexit negotiations?”

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said that ‘May’s manifesto meltdown changes nothing’.

“As Theresa May has made clear herself, nothing has changed and her heartless dementia tax remains in place. This is a cold and calculated attempt to pull the wool over people’s eyes. Theresa May still wants to take older people’s homes to fund social care. Families deserve to know exactly how much of their homes would be up for grabs now, not after the election.”

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