The BBC Sunday Politics presenter Andrew Neil just described the Tory social care plan (Dementia Tax) as “A stealth inheritance tax of 100% on everything above £100,000”.
This is quite some observation from a staunchly conservative former Rupert Murdoch journalist to make in the middle of an election campaign.
More astounding than seeing Andrew Neil battering the Tory party over this depraved policy of asset stripping elderly people when they develop age-related diseases, is the spectacle of Tories trying to defend Dementia Tax after they’ve spent decades arguing that inheritance tax is terribly unfair and that the threshold should be raised.
Boris Johnson was one of the most high-profile Tories to come out in support of this 100% stealth inheritance tax saying “the broad thrust is right”, describing it as “reasonable” and even praising Theresa May as “brave” and “resolute” for planning to asset strip pensioners as she simultaneously hands out a mind-boggling £70 billion in tax cuts to her corporate mates.
So somehow Tories like Boris objected to a 40% inheritance on assets above £325,000 because it’s supposedly far too harsh … but now they approve of a 100% inheritance tax on assets above £100,000 because … well … they have to defend their party, no matter how depraved the policies, and no matter how wildly unhinged Theresa May’s behaviour is becoming.
In a way it’s amusing to see these people performing demeaning acts of mental gymnastics in order to defend something they’d be (rightly) attacking with furious indignation if any other party was proposing it.
But it’s also worrying.
It’s worrying because it demonstrates that people’s tribal political allegiance to the Tory party extends way beyond anything like reason. It demonstrates that Tories are so wedded to their party that they’re essentially immune to cognitive dissonance. It demonstrates that they will defend literally anything their beloved Tory party do, even if it runs completely against the grain of their own conservative ideology.
If so many Tories are ready and willing to defend a depraved 100% inheritance tax on assets above £100,000, they’re obviously willing to defend literally anything that Theresa May comes up with, which is surely deeply concerning given her increasingly unhinged behaviour of late.