“This plan has completely failed to spread the risk and cost of social care across society as a whole, and in effect has left the burden on the shoulders of millions of older people and their families.” The Prime Minister also argued that a pledge made by David Cameron to propose a cap of £72,000, delayed until 2020 - which would see what is in effect a social insurance covered peoplefor care costs beyond the capped amount - was no longer needed.

he was "disappointed" about the Tories' proposal to get rid of the cap, saying it would see elderly people who develop serious conditions potentially losing all of their accumulated wealth.

“The manifesto is saying no one will have to sell their home during their lifetime to pay for care, but when that person dies, if there isn’t this disregard, then you’ve potentially got their spouse or partner who’s going to be forced to sell the home and move.” Mr Hillier added that it was impossible at this stage to comment on the plans, saying: “I think everyone agrees that the social care system does need to change.

She also announced plans to means-test annual fuel payments, which have been highly popular with the pensioners who are the bedrock of the party’s support, with the cash diverted to social care.

It comes as research in the open access journal BMC Medicine revealed the number of people requiring palliative care in England and Wales over the next 25 years is likely to increase by at least 42 per cent, with at least 160,000 more people each year are likely to have palliative care needs.

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Currently, one in 10 older people face future lifetime costs of over £100,000 for their social care needs.

Due to falling funding and local authorities being forced to tighten the eligibility criteria for free social care, 400,000 fewer people received publicly funded care in 2012/13 than in 2009/10.

Up until now the property you live in is disregarded for as long as you live there if you’re getting care and support at home,” Mr Hillier told “Currently, if you have a spouse, relatives over the age of 60 or carers living there then the property is ignored completely while that person is living there.

“So it will be important to see whether those disregards are going to come into play, or whether they’ll say no as soon as you need that care, your property is going to be looked at to pay for your care.

“This calculation includes the value of a person’s home, so the vast majority of home-owning older people will find they have to pay.

This may seem unfair, but the current asset threshold is already very low (£23,250) – meaning not only all homeowners, but many social renters with modest retirement savings also have to pay for all of their residential care.

“The large jump in the threshold will means hundreds of thousands of the poorest older people will have access to partially or fully funded residential care for the first time.” Barbara Keeley, Labour’s Shadow Mental Health Minister, accused the Conservatives of offering “reheated broken promises” with “little detail” of how they would be delivered.