Tories confirm means-tested care policy and scrapping of triple lock

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Victoria McKeever writes

Prime Minister Theresa May has confirmed the Conservative party would introduce a means-tested care policy and replace the pensions ‘triple lock’ with a ‘double lock’ by 2020, should it get elected in June.

At the launch of the Conservative party manifesto on Thursday, May confirmed the party would raise the means-tested threshold for elderly care from £23,250 to £100,000, which would be taken from a person’s estate when they die.

She also confirmed winter fuel payments, which the elderly currently receive regardless of need, would be means-tested.

She said the party’s planned care policy was the “first real plan to maintain the quality of social care, a challenge that has been ducked by the government for too long”.

‘Double lock’

The manifesto said “it was now time to set pensions on an even course”, confirming the Conservative government would scrap the ‘triple lock’ by 2020 and replace it with a ‘double lock’.

This would see the basic state pension rise in line with earnings or inflation, depending on which is highest. It would do-away with the guaranteed 2.5% state pension increase under the current system.

The Conservatives also plan to expand auto-enrolment to include small employers and the self-employed. In addition, the party said it would continue to promote savings products, such as the lifetime ISA, to “encourage and incentivise more people to make provisions for long-term needs”.

Tax

By 2020 the manifesto said it would increase the personal tax allowance to £12,500 and the higher rate threshold to £50,000.

The party also pledged to simplify the tax system which would benefit in particular the self-employed and small businesses.