politics

Labour's care revolution for pensioners with 7-point plan after years of Tory cuts


Labour is putting a radical overhaul of social care at the centre of a plan to restore OAPs’ “dignity and respect”.

Jeremy Corbyn will tomorrow announce seven bold pledges to improve pensioners’ lives.

He said: “The Tories have let down a generation of older people.”

Mr Corbyn will make the revolutionary offer to millions of pensioners, promising to improve social care provision and pensions.

The Labour leader is also committing to keeping free bus passes and TV licences for OAPs.

Labour’s new Pensioners’ Pledge Card guarantees free day-to-day personal care for OAPs and an £10.8billion investment in social care services.

The Tories failed to announce any concrete funding plans in their manifesto to tackle the social care crisis, caused by years of austerity.

Jeremy Corbyn wants to make social care available to everyone who needs it

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said: “Labour’s new Pledge Card sets out our offer to restore dignity and proper support for older people after being abandoned by the Conservatives.

“The scandalous state of the care system is perhaps the biggest crisis facing our country. Labour will build a new National Care Service, with free care for those who need it.”

Around 1.5 million older people need social care, while 74,000 have died or will die waiting for it between the last and next elections.

Labour is promising free personal care for over-65s, and to fill the current projected funding gap in social care. It will invest £10.8billion by 2023/24.

Jeremy Corbyn lays a brick during a visit to West Nottinghamshire College Construction Centre today

The party’s seven-point plan also includes keeping the pensions triple lock and free TV licences for over-75s.

They are also offering a £100,000 lifetime cap on all other care costs.

Mr Corbyn also promises action for the millions of women born in the 1950s who have been denied a full state pension.

He told the Mirror: “Labour will do far more than guarantee the triple lock.

“We’ll make sure there’s TV licences free for the over-75s, we’ll make sure that women are paid proper compensation, and we’ll make sure that social care is available for all those that need it.

“The Tories have let down older people. It’s Labour’s duty to look after them.”

Meanwhile Boris Johnson was shearing sheep while visiting the Royal Welsh Winter Fair

Labour will also restore 3,000 bus routes and give councils back the power to regulate services.

They also have plans for a Warm Homes for All scheme to install loft insulation, double glazing and renewable technologies in nearly all of the UK’s 27 million homes. And there is a pledge to give former miners a fair share of their pension fund.

Currently, any surplus in the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme is split 50-50 between Mine members and the state.

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Caroline Abrahams, of Age UK, said: “Older and disabled people, their families and carers have had to put up with a third-rate system for too long.

“Many have paid a high price for the failure of successive governments to take decisive action.”

Mr Johnson has been widely criticised for his “vague” social care funding plans.

Labour is vowing to build a new National Care Service

The Tories put off announcing a detailed plan amid fears it could derail Mr Johnson’s campaign in the way it did Theresa May’s in 2017. The party has cut £8billion from social care since 2010.

Mr Johnson’s offer to work cross-party on the crisis falls short of the PM’s cry for a “clear plan” to fix social care when he took office in July.

Sir Andrew Dilnot, former chair of the Commission on Funding of Care, said the Tories’ promises are “very vague”, adding: “It’s striking that there is no clear plan.”

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General election 2019

Sally Warren, of The King’s Fund think tank, said the Tories’ £1billion pledge is “a couple of billion pounds short a year” of what is required.

It comes as the Tories’ lead over Labour narrowed, with support down one point to 41% in the last week.

Labour is up two points to 34%, a poll showed today.





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