Health minister Andrea Leadsom fails to provide detail on social care cap proposed in new Conservative manifesto

12 June 2024, 00:11 | Updated: 12 June 2024, 05:59

Andrea Leadson struggled to tell Ben Kentish more about a key pledge in the Tories' new manifesto
Andrea Leadson struggled to tell Ben Kentish more about the a key pledge in the Tories' new manifesto. Picture: LBC

By Flaminia Luck

Minister for Public Health Andrea Leadsom has failed to provide detail on a key pledge in the Tories' election manifesto regarding social care.

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When asked by LBC presenter Ben Kentish about the cap on social care, Ms Leadsom said: "I'm not actually sufficiently over the detail of that right now, of that specific question.

"But that's really fundamental this affects millions of people. Your party is promising to cap, and you're not saying where you'd cap it."

"Well, it's in the manifesto if you give me five minutes to read it" she replied.

Andrea Leadsom cannot give detail on the Tories' social care cap pledge

She added she had been out on the campaign trail all day and had not seen the manifesto until half an hour ago.

"I don't actually have that detail to hand," she had.

Mr Kentish added it was not a policy in the manifesto.

He added this is a pretty "key detail", to which Ms Leadsom agrees.

"It is absolutely a key detail and certainly previous consideration of capping social care has been at the level that in effect, creates a balance between recognising that social care is a very expensive burden on the taxpayer.

"But there's also, it's only fair for people who've saved and bought themselves a house and saved all their lives houldn't then have to see that dwindle away to nothing for their descendants.

"And so, actually, that is a very important balance that needs to be fair to the tax payer and fair to the person who needs for social care."

Read more: Tax cuts, stamp duty slashed and halving migration: Sunak rolls the dice at Tory manifesto launch

Read more: Rachel Reeves fails to say whether Labour would lower tax burden - as party hits out at Tories' 'Corbyn-style' manifesto

Ben Kentish and Conservative Andrea Leadsom disagree over tax cut pledges

Later, Ms Leadsom, who is standing down at the election, clashed with the host over public opinion polls on tax rates.

Mr Kentish told the minister that polls show people don't want lower taxes if it means public services are "unable to cope".

"Which opinion polls show that then?" Ms Leadsom replied.

"More people would either pay current levels of tax or higher to have proper public services, than would have taxes fall and have services that don’t work.”

Ms Leadsom spoke of the impact of Covid, the invasion of Ukraine and a support package for energy bills had a "dampening impact" on public services.

Read more: England fans to be served low-alcohol beer at first Euros game against Serbia deemed 'high risk' due to 'hooligan fans'

The Conservative manifesto was unveiled the Conservatives’ manifesto on Tuesday ahead of the General Election next month.

In a last roll of the dice with less than a month until the country goes to the polls, Rish Sunak announced a flurry of policies designed to woo voters.

The Prime Minister has pledged more tax cuts, immigration reform and to effectively abolish stamp duty for first-time buyers.

Rachel Reeves speaks at a press conference in central London, responding to the launch of the Conservative Party's manifesto
Rachel Reeves speaks at a press conference in central London, responding to the launch of the Conservative Party's manifesto. Picture: Alamy

Also on LBC, Rachel Reeves refused to say whether a Labour government would lower the tax burden if elected to power as the party hit out at the Conservatives' 'Corbyn-style' manifesto.

The shadow chancellor was asked on Tuesday afternoon if she could "categorically" commit to the tax burden being lower by the end of the next Parliament if Labour comes to power.

Ms Reeves said while the Conservatives are "willing to make commitments without being able to say where the money is going to come from", a Labour government "will never do that"."

I want taxes to be lower," Ms Reeves said, before accusing the Tories of increasing the tax burden to its highest level in 70 years.

"This is a big difference between myself and the Conservative Party... I will never play fast and loose with the public finances because when you do so, you play fast and loose with family finances."

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