Monday 22 May 2017

Dementia Tax has not gone away

Theresa May's comments on her party's depraved Dementia Tax policy are being widely reported in the mainstream media as a "U-turn", but in reality it's just a climbdown on one specific aspect of Dementia Tax.

Although describing this partial climbdown as a "U-turn" makes Theresa May seem like a weak vacillating charlatan in the eyes of people who are already deeply suspicious about her, these "U-turn" narratives are probably going to be extremely beneficial to the Tories because it makes it seem that they've abandoned this depraved policy of asset stripping elderly people, when in reality they haven't at all.

Why this is a climbdown, not a full U-turn

Theresa May's conspiracy theory laden speech made it absolutely clear that nothing has changed other than a vague commitment to cap the amount of wealth that can be asset stripped to an as-yet unspecified figure.

When Dementia Tax was announced there was no mention of a cap (so the government could extract an unlimited amount of wealth until the estate is run down to just £100,000) and now she's vaguely saying there will be one.

Technically this counts as a climbdown, but the policy of asset stripping elderly people still remains, just that the rate of asset stripping will be capped at some unspecified amount to be decided by the Tories later.

An unspecified cap

Theresa May's supposed "U-turn" was simply an allusion to the introduction of a cap on the amount that can be asset stripped. She didn't say whether the cap would be an annual amount, or an overall limit no matter how long the social care services are needed, and she didn't put any actual figure on the cap. She just called it an "absolute limit".

Theresa May is being so unspecific that after the election she could set the cap at a ridiculous £100,000 per year in asset stripping to cover care costs, and still claim to have kept to her word.
  Would you trust Theresa May?

The question now has to be would you even trust Theresa May to keep her word?

She's been forced into this humiliating climbdown within just four days of the launch of the shambolic and totally uncosted Tory manifesto, but if she wins a massive majority in June, what's to stop her just changing her mind again and throwing the idea of a cap on the amount that can be asset stripped onto the scrap heap where she clearly thinks it belongs (otherwise she would have included a cap in her manifesto wouldn't she)?

Do you trust Theresa May to not set her as-yet unspecified asset stripping cap at a ridiculously high figure like £100,000 per year?
Do you trust Theresa May to not just change direction again and abandon the idea of an asset stripping cap after she wins a thumping Tory majority and can do whatever she likes?
Why this U-turn narrative will probably help the Tories

The way the mainstream media are framing this climbdown as a total "U-turn" will damage Theresa May a little bit, but it will help the Tories a lot more.

Theresa May has U-turned on all kinds of stuff before (from Remainer to hard Brexit enthusiast, the National Insurance U-turn in March, the U-turn on her promises there would be no snap elections before 2020 ...) and this directionless self-serving behaviour has never seemed to damage her popularity, or undermine the widely held belief that this vacillating, self-serving and increasingly unstable charlatan is somehow a reliable kind of person.

Counter-intuitively this "U-turn" narrative will probably help the Tories a lot by creating the utterly misleading impression that the Tories have abandoned Dementia Tax, rather than simply making some vague kind of assertion that the amount of asset stripping that the state can do will be limited to an as-yet totally unspecified figure.

Dementia Tax has not gone away, and anyone who tries to portray this so-called "U-turn" as evidence that the Tories have dropped the policy of asset stripping elderly people is an outright liar, but we all know that lies win election by now don't we?

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