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To think older people need to sit up and take notice of this

(721 Posts)
OwlOfBrown Thu 18-May-17 16:06:06

So the Tory manifesto includes a plan to make (elderly) people pay for their own social care costs until they are down to the last £100K of their wealth. Andrew Dilnot, who chaired a commission on social care costs during the coalition government which suggested a cap of £35,000 on care costs borne by individuals, has condemned this plan.

I know a lot of MN'ers will say that this is fair, and I do have some sympathy with that opinion. Why should someone be able to sit on hundreds of thousands of pounds of wealth when the state pays for their care? But is it really fair? What about when others have the same amount of wealth but enjoy the good fortune of not needing social care so get to keep their wealth? After all, we don't make people with long-term illnesses pay for their medical treatment (yet...) so what is different about social care?

Debate away - I'm interested to hear other people's opinions on this.

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 18-May-17 16:10:24

People with assets don't want to pay. People without can't. Who do you suggest pays for the massive, increasing costs?

BTW I have aging parents sitting on a very expensive house so I do stand to lose a lot. I still think it's right that people pay for their care if they can.

OwlOfBrown Thu 18-May-17 16:32:52

Terry Well, I presume the Dilnot Commission considered that question and the £35K cap they proposed took into account the reamaining liability that would be borne by the government and felt it was sustainable. I suspect care costs will rise as a result of this policy since there will be less incentive for the government to control them if far more people are paying out of their assets.

On a related note, who owns the large care companies? I suspect that, like water and gas, large foreign investors will start to take over this market, and that personal wealth will rapidly disappear overseas

akaWisey Thu 18-May-17 17:09:35

My DF always worked and paid full NI and Tax. If he's unfortunate to become ill with cancer or another condition like that, he won't have to pay for his care under the NHS. But if he develops dementia he will be paying twice over and, sadly, that seems to be the way it's going.

I hope he doesn't watch or listen to the news anymore tbh. Because I think he'd rather take matters into his own hands than be in a situation where the government make him pay for care he already paid for, for over 40 years.

And he's not rich, or sitting in a vast house worth hundreds of thousands.

Winterlight Thu 18-May-17 17:10:48

Can anyone explain how this would work with couples?

My parents are both in their eighties and my dad has Alzheimer's. They live in a very modest home but it is above £100k. They also have some small savings.

When my dad needs paid care in the future that presumably would come from equity release in the house under this scheme. But then this will leave very little equity left for my mother if she then requires care in the future?

Have I got that right? It doesn't seem fair if one partner uses up the lions share of the equity leaving little for the remaining partner.

akaWisey Thu 18-May-17 17:14:39

The devil is in the detail, Winterlight. I'm not sure it's been worked out yet.

They're the same age as my DF. It's so very scary. I'm scared for myself too sad

Magpiemagpie Thu 18-May-17 17:15:55

I don't know if it's possible for your parents & I'm sure here are some legal people who could give better advice but it might be worth getting your parents to sort out their wills and split the house so that they are tenant in common so that they own 50 percent each
That way I would imagine that only your dads half can be used fo his care & not your mums as he only legally owns 50 percent of the house so can't touch your mums half .

My parents have done this recently with a life time trust for the other spouse to stay in the house if the other one passes away

Itisnoteasybeingdifferent Thu 18-May-17 17:16:12

It makes me think about my vote.

Now 60 I have the misfortune to have serious health issues. Nothing I did btw like smoking, just unlucky. If I need care I stand to loose my home under this proposal.

OTOH, if I spend my money on beer and skittles and eat my way to obesity and develop diabetes the state will care for me if I need care. No point in taking care of myself.

akaWisey Thu 18-May-17 17:17:30

I think that they ought to be treated as individuals because they certainly are for tax purposes and this is another tax.

But I'm sure someone who knows more than me will be along. And it wouldn't be hard to know more than me about this stuff, but I'm learning.

akaWisey Thu 18-May-17 17:20:10

itis you know what? On my way home from work this afternoon I was thinking the same thing!

Also thinking about making a living will so that if I am lucky hmm and get an early diagnosis of something awful I can get myself to Dignitas so that my DC's and DGS have half a chance on the little I've got to leave them.

triedandrusted Thu 18-May-17 17:23:16

I thought that at the moment, you lose all but your last 25k approximately? Being able to keep 100k seems better? Or have I misunderstood?

HeadDreamer Thu 18-May-17 17:24:04

Can anyone explain how this would work with couples? My parents are both in their eighties and my dad has Alzheimer's. They live in a very modest home but it is above £100k. They also have some small savings.

If it's anything like in NZ, which I see how NHS and social care is going. You'll have to re-mortgage your house to pay for everything. The banks there will let you keep taking out mortgages, with terms that you'll never repay in total, and repayment feasible from state pensions only.

They have to pay for hospital fees, GP, medication, dentist, and even the ambulance that took FIL to his death. MIL sold her house after FIL's death to move here, and she has less than £50k left in equity. If she didn't want to move here, she can stay in the house and keep remortgaging to make the monthly payment smaller.

In other words, anyone who has a home can release equity. And given the need to pay for care, there will be products for you to do so.

LadyPW Thu 18-May-17 17:24:05

FFS. It comes from their estate after they're dead for starters so it's not a case of elderly people being left with "just" £100k of equity. You'll be dead, you won't know they've taken it. And if it's a couple then they'd wait till both are dead (or potentially if the remaining one sells they'd ring-fence the share) before claiming. And then the claim would be based on half (assuming the property was jointly owned). You're not going to get one spouse needing lots of care, the govt taking the whole value of the house (not least because they wait til they're dead) and the other spouse not getting care because the other one's used it. They're just as entitled. The cost of their care home will be taken from THEIR estate (less the £100k their estate gets to give to someone else). The other spouse's share comes from their own estate.
Yes it sucks that anyone with property gets shafted while those that haven't bothered saving to buy a house get away paid for by the state but unfortunately that's how it works. Unless you want to vote for Corbyn who will pay for absolutely everything out of his amazing never-ending magical pot of gold (and will give you a free unicorn every year too).

HeadDreamer Thu 18-May-17 17:25:08

And if your mum has no equity left, then the govt picks up the bill. Because it's only for those with more than £100k.

woodhill Thu 18-May-17 17:31:06

Totally agree Winter about using up the care share. Also why isn't Alzheimer's considered an illness? Not fair.

Goingtobeawesome Thu 18-May-17 17:32:30

Not fair that people who haven't worked hard and survive on benefits get everything when people who have worked and saved and can afford their own care have to use it all to pay for care. In both cases the children don't get any inheritance but where is the incentive to work hard and save?

DarkFloodRises Thu 18-May-17 17:32:51


In response to your point about your DF "paying for care he's already paid for", the problem is that his generation did not have to support the massive burden of elderly people that the current / future working population will have to support (due to the ageing population). In other words, his generation require more care than they paid for.

BasiliskStare Thu 18-May-17 17:33:40

I think ( & correct me if I am wrong someone)

Currently if you have more than £23k in savings or property and you are not eligible for NHS funding if you need to go into a care home , then you will have to pay , using savings or property until you reach that level, icluding selling the house if needs be. If one person needs to go into into a care home and has more than these assets then the house does not need to be sold whilst there is a spouse or dependent living in it.

So as I understand it this proposal leaves people with about £76k more than currently. I am not saying whether the proposal is right or wrong but leaves more than today , just not as much to those who have more than £135 k if I am right

Magpiemagpie Thu 18-May-17 17:35:14

I would imagine that care home fees will go up massively for those that are self funding as well once this is brought in .
Similar to how it is at the moment that self funders often pay more than non self funders

BareGrylls Thu 18-May-17 17:36:38

I don't know about the property. I have a friend with 2 DC who has been struck down with a life long hugely disabling illness and needs care. Should the family house have to be sold on top of everything else that has befallen them?

I agree with the general principle that people should get free state help if they need it. There are many things that are universal and given to those who could afford to pay.
School meals for infants, free childcare for under 5s, free bus travel for pensioners, winter fuel.
All should go to those who need it but not to those who can afford to pay. The money saved would be better spent on pupil premium and social care for the elderly.

MissShittyBennet Thu 18-May-17 17:37:28

I shan't vote Conservative, but this is one of the better things in there. This is a ticking timebomb. We either fund it through the assets of people who have them, well after their deaths so YABVU to characterise it in the way you do. Or we fund it through higher taxes on everyone.

I'm fucked if I'm paying more for social care, possibly whilst paying less for other important things like education, maternity care, cancer treatment, while the children of the people receiving it can inherit hundreds of thousands that's not been touched.

Basilisk it is an increase from the current 23k, but it's also an expansion of the types of care that can be claimed for.

Magpiemagpie Thu 18-May-17 17:37:41

At the moment if you get care at home tjey don't take into account your house only savings over the 23,500
Under these proposal it will take into account your house so you will be paying for care

So in theory if you need care at home your worse of under this because at present they don't take into account your house

cdtaylornats Thu 18-May-17 17:37:45

Basalisk - that's the way it was explained on Radio 4 this morning.

alltouchedout Thu 18-May-17 17:37:47

I am not a Tory. I will never vote Tory. I like Labour's manifesto and will vote Labour. But, honestly, I do not see the problem with people's assets in excess of £100k being used to fund their social care. I really don't.

Not fair that people who haven't worked hard and survive on benefits get everything when people who have worked and saved and can afford their own care have to use it all to pay for care.
confused Uh, what?

akaWisey Thu 18-May-17 17:38:59

DarkFlood He's elderly. Not a burden.

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