LONDON — A Conservative minister has suggested that the elderly should sell their homes to pay for care and houses should not be seen as “an asset to give to their offspring,” sparking new fears of a dementia tax.
Social care minister Jackie Doyle-Price said: “The taxpayer shouldn’t be propping up people to keep their property and hand it on to their children when they’re generating massive care needs.”
She made the comments at a Social Market Foundation fringe event at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester last week.
Doyle-Price added: “We’ve got to a stage where people feel that they are the custodian of an asset to give to their offspring but actually we need to get back to a stage where actually homes are for living in – they shouldn’t be seen as that.”
The Conservatives unveiled plans to make middle-class pensioners pay towards the care they received in their own homes in their general election manifesto before u-turning after the policy was branded the “dementia tax.”
Watch Jackie Doyle-Price’s comments below
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “The idea of a ‘dementia tax’ was rightly rejected by the public during the general election.
“It is appalling that the Tories still want to force older people to pay for care with their homes.”
The government is due to publish its plans for funding social care before the end of the year, and Doyle-Price’s comments have sparked fears that the “dementia tax” policy has not been completely scrapped.
The Tory minister said: “People who are now well into their pension ages are sitting in houses that really are too big for their needs and we do need to have those conversations about what’s appropriate earlier.
“Those of us who are fortunate enough to have gone through university without paying anything, fortunate enough to have then bought our own homes, have been able to build up a level of wealth, but people coming through who are going to be funding us after we have retired have not had those advantages and fundamentally it’s unfair for us to expect them to pay through their taxes to deal with that.”
A government source told the Daily Telegraph that there is an “imbalance in the current system” and “we are looking at social care as a long-term challenge.”
Last year former Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron said: “The home that you’ve worked and saved for belongs to you and your family. We’ll help you pass it on to your children.”
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