Sector leaders say they feel muzzled by 2014 legislation despite believing policies would prove hugely damaging.
Charities have been silenced from speaking out about the Conservative social care plans despite believing they will be hugely damaging to elderly and disabled people across the country, it has been claimed.
One chief executive of a major charity in the social care sector told the Guardian they felt “muzzled” by legislation, introduced in 2014, which heavily restricts organisations from intervening on policy during an election period.
They said Theresa May’s decision to means test winter fuel allowance would inadvertently result in some of the poorest pensioners in the country losing the support, adding that “will literally cost lives”.
And they claimed the so-called “dementia tax” on social care in the home would stop people who need support from seeking it.
“We are ready to speak out at one minute past midnight on 9 June,” the charity leader added, but stressed they were too afraid to do so now.
Sir Stephen Bubb, who runs the Charity Futures thinktank but previously led Aveco, an umbrella organisation for voluntary organisations, said it was notable how quiet his sector had been about the policy.
“The social care proposals strike at the heart of what charities do but they should be up in arms about them but it hasn’t happened. It is two problems: there is the problem of the so-called ‘gagging act’, but also the general climate of hostility towards charities means there is a lot of self censorship,” he said.