Gogglebox Focus Group’s Damning May Verdict

Never mind the polls, last night’s Gogglebox focus group said it all about the damage done by the social care fiasco:

“I think she’s sh*tting a brick now because she called this election thinking she’s a 100% certainty, and they’ve not costed the [manifesto]… They made all the promises not realising people aren’t as stupid as they think and won’t believe everything they say.”

“It is half-baked.”

“You’ve changed it already because you’ve been caught out, Theresa!”

“‘Nothing’s changed’? They’ve done a u-turn and ‘nothing’s changed’?!”

“Really just goes to show that they can say any old sh*te and they don’t have to come good on the deal.”

“You said you weren’t gonna cap, and now you’ve capped. Explain.”

“I like that he’s not letting her get away with not answering.”

“What she should do is she should admit, and say, yes it wasn’t structured properly, we are tweaking it.”

“Do you know if I was Andrew Neil I’d be tempted to overpower her and say, just admit it!”

Sounds like they’d vote for Brillo…

Weak and Wobbly May U-Turns and Exaggerates “Fake Claims”

Theresa May has u-turned on her dementia tax policy and “clarified” that it will include an absolute limit on how much people will pay in care costs. The Tories are failing to put a figure on that limit. An exasperated May repeated “Nothing has changed”. That’s not true, this is a change in the policy, with no detail, uncosted.

May also bizarrely repeated the term “fake claims” to describe how the policy had been portrayed by Corbyn and the media. It is correct that Corbyn got the Tory social care policy wrong. But it is Trump-level alternative facts from May to describe the fears people had about the original policy meaning they could lose their homes as “fake claims”. They were not “fake claims”, they were fears about the policy as it was originally announced, made not just by Corbyn but by politicians and columnists on the right as well. That is why they had to u-turn. More “weak and wobbly” than “strong and stable”. So much for taking the tough decisions…

UPDATE: The Tories are arguing that Labour’s “fake claims” led people to believe people could lose their homes while they were still alive, rather than after they died. The Tories are correct that under the original policy no one would have lost their home while they were alive. Though not being able to pass your home onto your children surely also counts as losing your home…

Age UK Calls For Tax Rises While Encouraging Tax Avoidance

Age UK today calls on the government to raise taxes to pay for the country’s social care system. In its briefing paper Health and Care of Older People in England 2017, the charity states:

If you believe, as Age UK does, that the current situation cannot be allowed to go on then you may conclude, like us, that the need for a proper discussion…means it runs up against some ‘sacred cows’ – such as the possibility of raising taxes on income or wealth.

This could generously be interpreted as a cognitive lapse on the part of Age UK, since it also advises the elderly on how to reduce their tax bills and especially on inherited wealth. For example, its leaflet on will writing excitedly promotes tax efficiency measures:

Making a will is vital if you want to be certain that your wishes will be met after you die – and it might also prevent you from paying unnecessary taxes to the government…  it might be possible to reduce the Inheritance Tax bill that may be payable on your estate after your death. 

Not sure how you can credibly argue taxes need to go up while also helping the elderly reduce their tax bills…

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Quote of the Day

Peter Mandelson tells Emma Barnett…

“I think that Jeremy Corbyn himself should search his conscience and ask himself whether he’s the best person to lead the Labour Party into the general election with the best chance of success for the party.”

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