Theresa May 'did not consult' on social care plans, senior Government sources claim
Politicians who will deliver the Conservatives’ new care policy if they win re-election were left in the dark about their manifesto commitments, it can be revealed.
Senior Government sources have told The Sunday Telegraph they were left “completely surprised” by the wide-ranging package of reforms announced this week.
A series of social care policies were due to be put out to consultation this summer, including some of those adopted by the party in its manifesto.
However the changes would have been followed by months of consideration with less political risk if they were dropped or altered after industry feedback.
The failure to consult widely the small group of Number 10 figures who drew up the manifesto is cited in discussions about criticism of some to the measures.
Theresa May is facing a backlash after the surprise announcement that winter fuel payments will only be handed to the poorest pensioners, rather than all as currently, if she is re-elected.
The Conservatives have also pledged to end the pensions triple-lock and scrap plans for a cap on care costs, with savings being put back into the social care system.
One senior Government figure who would help deliver the plans if the Tories win re-election said they were not made aware of the changes before they were announced.
Asked if they had been consulted, the source said: “The answer is no, I was completely surprised.”
Some former Tory MPs have begun to voice their concerns over the proposals, in the first signs of a rebellion against the policies.
Bob Blackman, the Tory candidate for Harrow East, told the Financial Times: “Clearly there needs to be a limit on how much any individual should be required to pay. It’s a bit of a turkey on the doorstep. Everybody likes the cap.”
Labour is attacking the proposal for house prices to be included in an assessment of whether the state funds social care for those being looked after at home.
The party has dubbed it a “dementia tax” because while those who suffer cancer in old age have their costs looked after by the state, those suffering dementia may not.
Senior Tories moved to close down the row last night, with one source noting that people with dementia are often looked after in care homes already and so will not be affected.
Mr Corbyn yesterday accused Conservatives of risking a "war between generations" with a manifesto that pitches young against old.
"There is no trade-off between young and old - and there should be no trade-off," Mr Corbyn said.
"Society should not be setting the future of our young against security for the old. We have the wealth to offer a decent, secure life for all."
Tim Farron, the Liberal Democrat leader, said: "The Tory high command is now in meltdown. It realises it has misjudged the British people, who don't like this cold, mean-spirited Conservative approach to our most vulnerable citizens. The nasty party
is back and nastier than ever."
Conservatives | 2017 manifesto key points
Mr Corbyn will attempt to fuel the row tomorrow when he unveils a five-point promise to pensioners today [SUN] that will include protecting the winter fuel allowance.
He will also promise that the pension age will not rise beyond 66 and the triple-lock will stay under a Labour government - pledges not match by the Tories.
“Theresa May and the Conservatives won't stand up for pensioners, their only concern is their billionaire friends. Labour is proud to stand up for the many, not the few,” he will say.