Theresa May’s manifesto pledges to include the value of people’s property in the means test over the cost of care at home.
At the moment, we pay for home care if we have more than £23,500, excluding the value of our house. But the Tory manifesto says people will pay for home care if they have more than £100,000 – INCLUDING the value of the house.
And with houses in many parts of the country going through the roof, our ageing population will end up paying more of their money to the Government.
Is that a bad thing though? Is inherited wealth simply a throwback in to the confines of British history nowadays?
The Prime Minister says the social care means-tested threshold will be raised from £23,500 to £100,000 to give people the chance to hang on to their cash – but many elderly homeowners who rely on home care will be worse off.
Some say, in fact it is little more than another death tax because the state will deduct the cost from their estate when they die.
The manifesto states: ‘We will extend the current freedom to defer payments for residential care to those receiving care at home, so no-one will have to sell their home in their lifetime to pay for care.’
Saga says that nine out of 10 people aged 50+ have said they would choose care in their own home.
However, the National Pensioners Convention, said: “Tory care pledge in their manifesto is a Frankenstein’s monster of a policy, all the worst bits bolted together and fails to tackle the crisis.”
The Conservative manifesto also intends to help pay for social care by scrapping winter fuel payments for better-off pensioners – at the moment, all pensioners qualify for one-off payments of between £100 and £300 each year.
But it is home care that most people seem to be furious about. Jeremy Corbyn describes it as ‘a tax on dementia’.
The increase in the numbers of very old is causing a social care funding crisis for local authorities across the land — a survey of directors showed only eight per cent of them felt they could meet their statutory obligations next year.
One commentator described it as ‘baffling’ that Mrs May put this in the manifesto, saying that while it was ‘rational’ it was ‘electorally disastrous’.
But is she just being something many politicians find difficult – is she just being honest?
Recent figures show that over the next 20 years, Britain’s pensioner numbers will rise by 40pc to more than 16 million. As a result, by 2035, spending on pensions, social care and the NHS would have been £40bn higher in real terms than it is today.
Is there any other way of supporting the growing elderly and vulnerable enclave of our society?