Election 2017: 'Weak and wobbly' or 'strong and stable' - Ilford North candidates clash on social care

PUBLISHED: 13:01 22 May 2017 | UPDATED: 11:02 25 May 2017

Conservative party leader Theresa May during the Welsh Conservative manifesto launch, where she announced a change of Tory plans for social care. Photo: PA

Conservative party leader Theresa May during the Welsh Conservative manifesto launch, where she announced a change of Tory plans for social care. Photo: PA

PA Wire/PA Images

The Labour and Conservative candidates for Ilford North have clashed over prime minister Theresa May's sudden change of plans for social care.

On Thursday, the Conservatives announced what they called “the first ever proper plan to pay for - and provide - social care”, which would have seen people fund their own care until they were down to their last £100,000.

But today, in the wake of fierce opposition of what many called “the dementia tax”, Mrs May revealed the Tories will introduce the option of a cap on the amount each person must pay for their care.

But some critics, including incumbent Ilford North candidate Wes Streeting, condemned the prime minister’s change of heart as damning proof a Conservative government would take advantage of the elderly.

Mr Streeting said: “The Conservative policy on social care is a complete shambles and has caused millions of pensioners to worry.

“Theresa May is now asking pensioners to write her a blank cheque on the promise that she’ll let them know the bill after the election.

“This isn’t a u-turn, it’s a fudge and people shouldn’t fall for it.

“The Tories now owe it to pensioners and their families to publish a detailed and fully-costed plan for social care, so that they know what they’re voting for.

“As postal votes land through letterboxes across the country today, it is clear that the Tory plan for social care isn’t strong and stable, it is weak and wobbly.”

But the Consevative Ilford North candidate, Lee Scott, condemned Mr Streeting’s comments as electioneering.

He told the Recorder: “Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn and his candidate in Ilford North are up to their usual scaremongering tricks - this time about social care funding.

“Corbyn’s candidate has no answers to Britain’s challenges and can only spread fear and confusion.

“Theresa May has made clear that there will be an absolute cap on the amount that people pay for their social care funding under our manifesto proposals.

“For the first time people will also have the peace of mind that the first £100,000 of their savings will be protected from future care costs.

“Strong and stable leadership means listening to people not resorting to cheap electoral scare tactics.”

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