Ukip's Patrick O'Flynn: Tory social care plan is 'nastiest' policy in years

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Pensioners should threaten to vote Ukip to force a u-turn on "devastating" Tory social care proposals, the party's economic spokesman has said.

Ukip's Patrick O'Flynn said the controversial Tory manifesto pledge to shake up social care funding was the "nastiest" policy in recent years, which would mean elderly people have to pay for care in their own home if they have assets exceeding £100,000.

Welsh and English voters were being treated "like second-class citizens" through plans to means-test the winter fuel allowance, as Scottish pensioners would retain the benefit, he told a press briefing in London.

Mr O'Flynn said: "The Conservative plan to confiscate assets from elderly people to pay for their social care is the worst and (most) stupid public policy proposal of recent years and the nastiest too, in effect if not in intention.

"It cannot be allowed to be implemented in its current form."

The "devastating death tax" would have psychological toll on older people, some of whom might "regret being alive", he warned.

Ukip wants to cut public spending on the Barnett formula, which delivers funding to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the HS2 rail project and overseas aid to fund social care.

Mr O'Flynn also outlined proposals for a voluntary social care cost insurance system, where people over 50-years-old could chip in towards their future care, or a national care service, first put forward by Labour, but only if resources were protected against "free-loading" from immigrants.

Speaking ahead of the Ukip manifesto launch on Wednesday, he said: "My message to all those who may be hit by the Tory policy but would never vote for Jeremy Corbyn's Labour is simple.

"Ask yourself what has been the best way to influence the Conservative party's behaviour and policies in the recent past.

"The answer is obvious. By voting Ukip or at least threatening to vote on Ukip.

"Look how it worked on Brexit, look how it is working on grammar schools."

Mr O'Flynn attempted to play down recent comments by party leader Paul Nuttall, who said it "doesn't really matter how many MPs you have" when quizzed on Ukip's chances on June 8.

Asked about the remarks, he said: "I think you might be referring to the point Paul Nuttall made on the television yesterday, which was simply that Ukip has shown it is able to influence the course of politics in Britain without MPs.

"Indeed you could say that, under the current first-past-the-post system, it's proved to date easier for Ukip to get the United Kingdom out of the European Union than to get MPs elected into the House of Commons but we hope that change that in this election."

Ukip is not expecting the same level of votes as 2015 but the party is successfully targeting areas where it has strong support, he said.