Triple-threat to elderly if Theresa May returned to power in election
OLDER VOTERS WILL be hit by unprecedented Tory austerity through cuts and tax rises if the Tories are returned to office, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has warned.
As the General Election campaign enters its final week, the Tory campaign has remained under considerable pressure ever since the dubious ‘Dementia Tax’ was announced in its party manifesto a few weeks ago.
The uncosted tax plan would ramp up potentially hundreds of thousands of pounds of inheritance taxes on elderly voters who become ill and are required to pay high costs for social care. While the Tories claimed the policy would fill the funding gap, opponents have pointed out that it would mean high charges on those who fall ill. Asset-wealthy elderly voters have traditionally been strongly Conservative-aligned.
The Tories have also abandoned support for a pensions ‘triple lock’ – which had guaranteed continuous above inflation rises in pensions support, as well as announcing a plan to scrap universal winter fuel allowances.
The SNP and Labour have sought to exploit the lack of detail on the plans – which haven’t been publicly costed or explained prior to the election campaign – by warning that a Tory Government will cause unprecedented pain for older generations.
At First Minister’s Questions, MSP Maree Todd described the Dementia Tax as “a plot to allow the financial services industry to asset strip dementia suffers” and “one of the most ill-humane manifesto pledges ever devised”.
Nicola Sturgeon added: “The Tory manifesto, published a couple of weeks ago, was nothing short of an assault on pensioners’ benefits. The triple lock for pensions to go. The winter fuel allowance to go. And a dementia tax. It’s very clear for pensioners across Scotland if you want to make sure Theresa May doesn’t have the power to take away your benefits and protections, make sure you have strong MPs standing up for you.”
It’s very clear for pensioners across Scotland if you want to make sure Theresa May doesn’t have the power to take away your benefits and protections, make sure you have strong MPs standing up for you.” Nicola Sturgeon
Older pensioners – the majority of whom are homeowners who have seen their property wealth surge during the house prices boom – have previously been more insulated from Tory austerity than younger generations. But the Tory manifesto – launched when all polling suggested a landslide victory – claimed it would address inter-generational injustice.
The Dementia Tax opens up the property wealth of all homes to pay for social care costs when the individual dies. £100,000 would be untaxed – but those who planned to pass homes onto their children would lose out if they fell ill.
Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn has campaigned to scrap tuition fees in England and return education support funding that the Conservative’s scrapped.
Picture courtesy of Number 10
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