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Labour’s social care proposals ‘lack detail’

Manifesto also proposes to scrap the residence nil rate band

The Labour Party’s promise to fund free personal care for the elderly has been criticised for its lack of detail on what exactly is included.

Rachael Griffin, tax and financial planning expert at Quilter, said the manifesto does not clarify whether “hotel costs”, such as food and board in a care home, are included.

Labour has announced it will institute a care cap of £100,000 for catastrophic costs and a lifetime cap on personal costs.

However, Griffin argued the sustainability of such a cap is a questionable because today’s workers will be funding it, adding: “as costs rise with an ever aging population, will it still be in place by the time they need to benefit?”

Griffin said it is likely that some kind of private provision will still be needed.

“And while Labour want to distinguish themselves from their rivals, a cross-party approach to an issue like social care is crucial,” she added. “Otherwise, there will be a constant question mark leaving people in limbo on how to plan for their future.”

The manifesto also reveals plans to scrap the residence nil rate band, which applies to individuals with direct descendants who have an estate (including a main residence) that exceeds the inheritance tax threshold of £325,000 for 2019/20. Griffin warned that scrapping the allowance and not replacing it with anything else will stem the flow of wealth between the generations. “Something people will want to think twice about as the younger generations are set to be worse off than those before them,” she argued.