HOME Secretary, Amber Rudd, has admitted she does not know what the proposed cap on the social care costs would be, in the Tory party’s controversial plans to make elderly people pay for their own social care, dubbed the ‘dementia tax’.
When the policy was announced in the Tory manifesto there was no upper limit on how much elderly people might be forced to pay for their care, only that they would not have to pay any more, once the value of any estate that remained to leave to their children had been reduced to £100,000.
In the wake of criticism, PM May then announced there would be a cap, but elderly Tory voters will now be expected to go to the polls with no idea about what that cap might be. Rudd told yesterday’s Andrew Marr Show: ‘The Prime Minister has said yes, there will be a cap, but we are not sure where the cap will be. What we are saying is we will have a green paper to make sure that we set it at the right level and we consider all the other alternatives.’
Rudd also revealed that new powers to temporarily exclude suspected militants from returning to the UK have been used for the first time. Temporary exclusion orders (TEOs) make it unlawful for the subject to come back without engaging with UK authorities. Rudd would not say how many times TEOs had been used, but confirmed ‘we have started to use them’. The last time figures on the use of TEOs were made public the number that had been used was ‘zero’.
She also admitted the authorities do not know how many Britons had returned from fighting with Islamic State or other extremists in Syria. Asked how many people were thought to have returned from Syria, Rudd said: ‘We don’t know the exact number. What we do know, in engaging with the intelligence services and with the police and with the Border Force, we make sure that they have the tools to track them and to keep them out where we can.’
• A weekend YouGov poll has put Labour only five points behind the Tories, who had at one point surged into a 24-point lead. Labour’s surge to 38% in the poll, its best poll performance under Corbyn’s leadership, came after weeks of electioneering that had seen the party’s share of the vote slowly grow.
It coincided with a sharp narrowing in the respective approval ratings of Corbyn and Theresa May.
Over a third of voters, 37%, said their opinion of PM May was more negative with just 25% saying it is more positive. Thirty-nine per cent said they have a more positive view of Corbyn as against just 14% saying they have a more negative view.