Sunday 15 December 2019
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General election 2019: Tories pledge extra cash for social care

The Conservatives have pledged an extra £1bn per year for social care in England over the next five years, if they win the election.

Writing in the Daily Mail, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the funding would "stabilise" the system and help councils meet rising demand.

The government had already promised an extra £1bn next year, but this extends the pledge until 2024/25.

Mr Hancock said "cross-party consensus" was needed on a long-term plan.

He wrote that social care was "too important to be politicised," and parties should work on new proposals "as soon as possible" after the election.

Chancellor Sajid Javid told BBC Radio 4's Today programme it was "no good for anyone" if the issue "turns into some kind of political football".

At the last election in 2017, former prime minister Theresa May decided to drop her plans to change the system after a backlash.

After proposals to make people receiving care at home liable for the full costs if they are worth at least £100,000 proved controversial, Mrs May announced there would be an "absolute limit" on the money people would have to pay.

The plans were eventually abandoned after the Conservatives failed to win an overall majority.

In his Mail article, Mr Hancock pledged that the Tories would work with other parties to decide reforms that "command the widest possible support".

"Both main parties have seen what happens to bold and complex social care reform plans unveiled in the heat of a hyper-partisan election campaign," he said.

However, he added that it would be a "red line" for his party that "no one needing care will have to sell their home to pay for it".