UK: New video sparks 'dementia tax' dispute


A video recorded during a fringe meeting at the U.K.'s ruling Conservatives' annual conference has sparked criticism as it again pushes the party's so-called "dementia tax" back on the agenda.

Published by the opposition Labour Party, it shows Social Care Minister Jackie Doyle-Price saying homes should not be seen as assets for parents to pass onto their children.

She is heard telling the meeting that many older people were "sitting in homes that really are too big for their needs" and her party was still planning to make reforms to the funding of social care.

"The reality is that the taxpayer shouldn't necessarily be propping up people to keep their property and hand it on to their children when they're generating massive care needs," she said in the footage.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on Thursday slammed the remarks, calling it "appalling" that Conservatives still expected people with dementia to sell their homes to pay for care.

In its last election manifesto, the Conservatives said those receiving home care would have to pay towards it and would only be able to protect savings or assets up to £100,000 ($130,000).

The plans prompted a sudden drop in support for the Conservatives in opinion polls.

Later the move was dropped by Prime Minister Theresa May just before the June 8 snap election and was not mentioned in Queen's Speech -- a ceremony held on the opening day of a new parliament, where the monarch reads out her new government's future policies.

May saw her party lose its parliamentary majority and she was forced to form a government with the support of the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party in exchange for £1 billion ($1.3 billion) for DUP-earmarked spending.

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