A conservative minister has been filmed controversially backing the so-called “dementia tax” reforms proposed during the last election.

Video footage shows Health Minister Jackie Doyle-Price saying that when it came to their homes, people saw themselves as “the custodian of an asset to give to their offspring” and that “they shouldn’t be seen as that”.

The minister said “propping up” people to keep their own homes while they were generating “massive” care costs.

In the footage, Thurrock MP Ms Doyle-Price says: “The reality is that the taxpayer shouldn’t necessarily be propping up people to keep their property and hand it on to their children when they’re generating massive care needs.

“We’ve got to a stage where people feel that they are the custodian of an asset to give to their offspring but actually we need to get back to a stage where actually homes are for living in - they shouldn’t be seen as that.”

She added: “People are now well into their pension ages sitting in homes that really are too big for their needs and we really do need to start having those conversations about what’s appropriate earlier.”

The Conservatives manifesto proposal for elderly people to pay for their care costs, dubbed the “dementia tax” was seen as one of the key factors behind the loss of Theresa May’s Commons majority in June’s election.

The plans prompted an outcry even within Conservatives ranks, with Southend Council leader John Lamb roundly denouncing the policy.

Speaking yesterday, Sir David Amess, MP for Southend West said: “Social care is very much an issue at the forefront of many residents’ minds that I represent in Southend West. This is simply because of the large number of senior citizens in my constituency.

“What I would welcome is a national debate on the issue and whilst this is a very difficult subject, whenever you talk about someone’s property and inheritance, we need a big conversation and then to try and get all the political parties to come to some consensus on the issue.”

Jean Howes from the Southend District Pensioners’ Campaign group said: “We are campaigning for provision for social care at a national level rather than a local level so there will be equal services for all. At the moment it is a postcode lottery. Social care should be funded by taxation. If we want proper care income tax has to be increased. Social care is close to collapse if we don’t fund it properly.

“Most people, when you look at tax, have got to pay a little bit more to pay for better quality of care. At least this has opened the debate on how we pay for social care. There needs to be a national standard or social care will fall of the edge of a cliff.”