As is becoming a habit with Theresa May, the Conservatives have today performed a U-turn on their manifesto plans for social care. After unveiling proposals that would mean many would have to pay more for their own social care — up until their assets were 100k or less — there were cross-party complaints about the plans and the Conservatives slumped in the polls. Now the Prime Minister has rowed back on the so-called dementia tax — promising a cap on the amount members of the public would have to pay towards their social care.
But if only she’d told, say, the secretary for work and pensions the plans yesterday. On Sunday, Damian Green, Boris Johnson and David Gauke were sent onto the airwaves to defend the plans. While the Foreign Secretary went off script and suggested that the policy could be tweaked, both Gauke and Green stuck to the party line:
AM: Very briefly, in Ashford and Twickenham and Scotland and lots of other places people hate this policy and it makes them very, very nervous indeed. Is there any chance at all you’re going to look at it again?
DG: No. What we said in the Manifesto incidentally just to put that
no in context, is that we have set out this policy which we’re not going to look at again.
Then again, given that it’s thought May didn’t even consult her Cabinet about the plans initially, why would she bother keeping them in the loop over the U-turn?