Conservatives plan to end free school meals, shake up elderly care and 'bear down' on immigration

Written by Tom Freeman and Josh May on 18 May 2017 in News

Manifesto for 'ordinary working families' will cut winter fuel payments to all but poorest pensioners, says Theresa May

Theresa May - Conservative party

A shake-up of the social care system in England will mean people will be expected to put the value of their property towards home care costs for the first time, with the state stepping in to pay when someone has less than £100,000 in assets, Theresa May will announce today.

Wealthier pensioners will also lose winter fuel payments under the Tory plans.

The Conservative manifesto is also expected to include the scrapping of universal free school meals in England and Wales to pay for free school breakfasts.


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No-one will have to sell their property in their lifetime to fund residential or home care, May will promise, but the cost of care will be taken from their estate when they die. There will be no cap on the costs of care.

May is expected to ditch the 2015 pledges on the pensions triple lock and the “tax lock” – which guaranteed that none of income tax, VAT or national insurance would go up – but will make a pledge to lower net migration to less than 100,000 per year for the third consecutive Conservative manifesto in a row.

It will contain a commitment to "bear down" on immigration from outside the EU.

Other expected measures are charges for immigrants for NHS services and a doubling of the recently-introduced Immigration Skills Charge, which requires firms to pay £1,000 per year if they want to bring in a skilled employee from outside the European Union.

Writing in the Sun, May said: “I am determined to cut the cost of living for ordinary working families, keep taxes low and to intervene when markets are not working as they should.

“You are the people who work hard every day and make this country what it is.”

The money saved by scrapping school lunches will be reinvested in school reforms.

A Tory spokesman said: “We have protected and increased school funding to the highest level on record but we accept there is more we can do.

“This extra money means no child will lose out. The choice at this election is between Theresa May, offering strong and stable leadership and more money for schools, or a shambolic Jeremy Corbyn whose sums don’t add up and whose nonsensical economic ideas would mean less money for schools.”

Labour accused May of “a track record of failure and broken promises” while the liberal Democrats have named her the "lunch snatcher".

SNP Deputy leader Angus Robertson said the Conservatives were "targeting family budgets" with cuts to Tax Credits.

“The last few weeks we’ve seen a steady drip of divisive Tory policies demonstrating the real dangers of a strengthened Theresa May in government at Westminster," he said.
 
“They want a free hand to dismantle the welfare state and to push through their reckless plans for a hard Brexit which threaten jobs, investment and livelihoods."

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