Theresa May refuses to say what care cost cap will be after unprecedented 'dementia tax' U-turn

PM parries question during launch of Welsh Conservatives' manifesto

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Indy Politics

Theresa May has refused to say how high the Conservatives' new cap on social care costs would be, after announcing an unprecedented U-turn on her manifesto plan to remove the limit.

The Prime Minister became increasingly flustered as she faced a barrage of questions from journalists, having seemingly watered down a key element of the Tory manifesto. 

Asked by Channel 4 News' Michael Crick where she would set the limit, Ms May said: "We have not changed the principles of the policy we set out in our manifesto. Those policies remain exactly the same."

The Conservative manifesto's section on social care makes no mention of implementing a cap. Previously the Government's plan had been to introduce an upper limit of £72,000 on the lifetime cost of a person's care by 2020.

It said a green paper would be drafted to "address system-wide issues to improve the quality of care".

But Ms May told journalists at the launch of the Welsh Conservatives' manifesto: "The plans that we set out were very clear in the manifesto, you can look in the manifesto ... We said we would issue a green paper and of course within that green paper we'll be consulting on the details of the proposals.

"Nobody is going to have to pay for their care, nobody is going to have to pay for their care ... while they are alive. Nobody is going to have to lose their family home.

"We have not changed the principles we set out in the manifesto."

She added: "We will have an upper limit, absolute limit, on the amount people will pay for care."

It came after a pair of polls showed Labour narrowing the gap on the Conservatives to just nine points, following the launch of Ms May's manifesto.

The Tories' lead has halved compared to a week ago, according to Survation, with Theresa May's party on 43 and Labour on 34.

The poll of 1,034 adults was taken over 19 and 20 May and showed people were more likely to say Labour had the best policies for older people and the NHS.

A YouGov poll had Labour on 35 per cent, their highest of the campaign so far, with the Tories on 44 per cent.