A mock estate agency called “Theresa May and Co” has been launched by the Liberal Democrats today attacking Theresa May’s Dementia Tax.
The Conservative policy would force the sale of family homes to fund care for elderly and vulnerable relatives.
The party has estimated that the Dementia Tax would cost £140,206, for someone receiving ten years of care living in an average-priced home in Havant.
Across Havant, 58.4% of the value of the average home would be wiped out to pay for the Dementia Tax.
Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate for Havant Paul Gray, said:
“Theresa May wants to force you to sell your house if you need long-term care.
“The effects of this cruel and unfair policy will be massive, and will have a huge people on people across our community.
“Elderly and vulnerable people across Havant face losing over half of their home to fund this ill-conceived policy, with nine out of ten homes potentially at risk.
“This is like a new type of inheritance tax – but one that’s targeted at people of modest means, not the wealthy. The Conservatives want to tax ordinary hardworking families out of their savings and homes if their relative is unfortunate enough to need years of care: it is grotesquely unfair.
“There is a week left in this campaign: if Theresa May fails to come clean to the British public, how can she be trusted?
Analysis by the Liberal Democrats has shown that up to half of the value of an average family home could be at risk from Theresa May’s dementia tax.
It comes after Amber Rudd said the Conservatives did not know what a future cap on social care costs would be, while refusing to rule out that it could be as high as £200,000 or £300,000.
The analysis reveals that:
Liberal Democrat Shadow Health Secretary Norman Lamb said:
“These figures show Theresa May’s dementia tax could devastate hard-working families, with a cap on costs in the hundreds of thousands.
“Across the country, people risk seeing over half the value of their homes taken to pay for care costs.
“Theresa May’s stubborn refusal to set out the full details of the dementia tax shows she has no plans to ditch it.
“She is showing contempt for vulnerable older people who have developed a condition like dementia through no fault of their own.”
The Liberal Democrats have challenged Theresa May to answer ten pressing key questions on the Dementia Tax, calling on her to come clean before the election takes place.
These include what level the cap will be set at, whether it will be uprated with house prices and whether it will include interest rates and arrangement fees.
Theresa May has also been challenged over how long surviving relatives will be able to stay in a family home and whether measures will be put in place to stop people avoiding the Dementia Tax.
- At what level will the cap on care costs be set?
How will it be uprated? Will it be in line with house prices?
Does the £100,000 floor apply to households or individuals?
Will the cap and £100,000 floor apply to care costs only, or will it also include accommodation costs?
Will people still need to pay an arrangement fee and interest for care costs, and if so how will these charges be set? The Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead (RBWM) currently charges 2.25% interest and a £900 set up fee plus £300 a year (link).
Will interest fees and fee payments for care costs be included under the cap?
Will local councils have to pay the additional costs for this scheme or will they be fully reimbursed by the Treasury?
Will widows, widowers or dependent children be able to remain in the family home after their relative has died, especially where they are elderly themselves? Or will they be forced to sell the home to pay for care costs?
What interest rate will be charged on a deferred payment once the beneficiary has died? Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead charge 8% if not settled within 90 days of death (link).
Will measures be put place to prevent people avoiding the Dementia Tax, for example releasing equity or gifting a house to children or grandchildren more than seven years before death?
The Liberal Democrats have committed in their manifesto to implementing the recommendations of the Dilnot Commission, which would mean a cap on care costs of £72,000
Norman Lamb, Liberal Democrat Shadow Health Secretary, said:
“It is simply not good enough to dodge difficult questions and proper scrutiny during the campaign over an issue that will have such a huge impact on people’s lives.
“Under these proposals, many would end up paying far more for their care.
“Families deserve to know now what the Dementia Tax will mean for their homes, finances and relatives.
“We have set out a clear set of questions Theresa May must answer in order to come clean to the British public and address their concerns.
“The Liberal Democrats will keep campaigning to scrap the Dementia Tax and ensure no-one has to worry about catastrophic costs to pay for their care.”
Responding to Theresa May’s announcement on social care in which she said “nothing has changed,” Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron said:
“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.”
Havant Liberal Democrat Candidate Paul Gray added: “The Dementia tax is a disgrace. Having been encouraged throughout their lifetimes to put money into bricks and mortar, our elderly are now told their homes could be ripped away from them. 96% of homes in our area could have to be sold to pay for this death tax. I will fight against it with all my vigour.”