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to support Conservative social care proposals

(189 Posts)
morningtoncrescent62 Mon 22-May-17 10:13:35

Labour voter here. Could someone explain to me what's wrong with the Tory proposals on elderly people with assets of more than £100,000 paying for their care? I'm a dyed-in-the-wool leftie and seldom see anything in a Tory manifesto that I would support, but this seems sensible. Why should taxpayers pay for social care for people with accumulated wealth, simply so that they can pass it on as inheritance? And yes, I get that if you have a slow, lingering illness such as dementia then you'd end up paying whereas those who die from a relatively short-lived disease wouldn't (or not to the same extent), but that really is one of life's many unfairnesses. Could someone explain to me the problems with this particular proposal? I've a feeling there must be something that I haven't understood.

araiwa Mon 22-May-17 10:19:44

because the really rich and wealthy will use all sorts of legal jiggery-pokery to get out of it all and everyone else will lose all their money.

Like when the duke of westminster paid 0 inheritance tax on his £9,000,000,000 inheritance

NoLoveofMine Mon 22-May-17 10:20:41

It's entirely unfair. Assets of over £100,000 is quite a number of people (nearly everyone who owns a house in the whole country and most people who own flats) and as you say it discriminates between people depending on how they age. At least with inheritance tax it's across the board (other than the super rich who find various ways around it), this means people who suffer certain conditions as they age will be subject to a sort of stealth tax on their assets whilst others won't. That's clearly part of what's wrong with it - just being "one of life's many unfairnesses" wouldn't excuse it. Why add another unfairness?

As for "why should taxpayers pay..." where does that end? Why should taxpayers pay for people with accumulated wealth use the NHS? State schools for their children?

SmilingButClueless Mon 22-May-17 10:25:45

I think one of the arguments against it is that currently if you require care at home (so not in a nursing home), your home is excluded from the assessment of how much you have to contribute to the care.

The new proposals would mean that the value of your home is included (although only paid once you / partner have stopped living there). This means that people on a low income, but who own a property, would need to pay more as their currently assessed contribution would be nil / low. But people with a higher income could continue to pay costs out of their income and still be able to leave the full value of property.

I actually don't think the proposals are a bad idea. I think as a country we're too fixated on inheritance (would also support an increase to inheritance tax, but that isn't going to happen with the Tories!).

pipsqueak25 Mon 22-May-17 10:26:26

morning totally with you, i don't subscribe to 'paid in all my life' business, flame me for saying, but i cannot see how ANYONE pays enough into the system to cover everything they get out of it, when you take into account all medical related, social care etc.
as for free nursing home care who the hell is going to pay for all of that as the population becomes that much older and lives longer.
if my mum needed nursing care i would forego my [am only child] inheritance to make sure she was well cared for, even if it used the last penny.

BurntBum Mon 22-May-17 10:28:10

I fully support it. You pay for your care. Once you're dead you don't need the money! I never understand people expecting to inherit from their parents. I don't expect to receive anything from my parents and we certainly won't get anything from DH's parents as all their money is currently being eaten up in care costs. If people are wealthy then they could give their money to their offspring earlier on in life (arguably when it is most needed when people are buying houses, having children etc)

Dodie66 Mon 22-May-17 10:29:01

That's all ok and I see their point but we are in a situation where our DC needs the house to live in when we are no longer here. They have mental health problems and would have nowhere to live and this has been their family home since birth

offblackeggshell Mon 22-May-17 10:30:45

How would you suggest that someone who is terminally ill balance up the cost of their care (e.g. in the case of my DM >£1k per week) with their emotional need to stay alive for as long as possible for their DC? The point of the NHS was that care was free and available to all at the point of need. At what point do you decide that someone doesn't need it. On delivery of a terminal diagnosis (they'll die anyway so why prolong?), on delivery of a dementia diagnosis (well, they won't know soon will they?) if they are alone and have no dependents (well, it won't affect anyone, will it?). How about if that person also has a dependent that will need life long care; a DC with autism e.g. or serious health issues?


I do appreciate that in some parts of the country £100k would go a long way. But it isn't the case everywhere, and unless it is, then it cannot be justified. If someone is in a position to hand down a multi million pound estate, how much longer can they be cared for? Are they more worthy of having money left over to leave their family, and more worthy of expensive care, rather than bare bones care?

Tobuyornot99 Mon 22-May-17 10:32:20

I think part of the issue is that the rich / savvy will plan well ahead and disburse any assets and end up paying nil, whereas the less savvy, who may be working class and have never had to think about this sort of stuff as have never been considered well off, will end up using every last penny to cover their care. There is a culture of tax avoidance / evasion by the wealthiest, this will be no different.

SmilingButClueless Mon 22-May-17 10:33:23

Dodie66 there could well be an exemption if your DC would be considered disabled and lives with you (there is currently an exemption for disabled relatives) - presumably that would be in the more detailed proposals when they come out.

NoLoveofMine Mon 22-May-17 10:34:04

Raising inheritance tax or lowering the inheritance tax threshold would be fairer. This discriminates against people depending on how they age. This also disproportionately impacts people with less if I've understood correctly. For example, someone with a £200,000 property and no cash who needs social care for 5 years will, though they receive more from the state, have paid proportionately far more than someone in a £1m property requiring the same.

I also don't think there's anything wrong in parents wanting to pass what they've saved on to their children.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Mon 22-May-17 10:38:19

Labour voter here.......this seems sensible

That's why it seems so odd that the Tories are proposing this. It seems much more appropriate in the Labour manifesto. I feel it'll lose TM a lot of votes.

ohohoops Mon 22-May-17 10:40:59

Do you also think people who can afford it should pay for their NHS/health care? So if you break your leg - you should pay? If you need a heart bypass - you should pay? This is the argument for privatisation of healthcare. Or do you believe in risk pooling and society looking after all individuals in return for progressive taxes that are proportionately related to income and assets? I think we should tax assets but I want to live in a society where the risk/costs of getting seriously ill and needed substantial care are pooled via a social insurance system. One of the major problems with social care is that it has been privatised and the returns/profits expected by the companies that own the large nursing home chains (12% return on capital) are completely amoral for the level of risk they are taking.
The other problem with poorly funding social care, is that it just ends up costing the NHS money as people end up in hospital. What's the likelihood that an elderly person will decline help in their home as they are worried about the cost? I think we should increase taxation (a reduction in the inheritance tax threshold so that assets are taxed across the population) in order to pay for state-provided social care as that would be best for all of us.

Toffeelatteplease Mon 22-May-17 10:46:30

I think it's a little short sighted.

A personal example. Mum and Dad have done fantastically well in life, enough to support themselves very comfortably in their old age. It's also enough that when they die it will support their 3 children a little.

I am on income support. I will be in perpetuity because of DC with SN. That money will probably be just enough to take me out of needing state benefits. If it's taken on care it won't be there.

So for the sake of paying a care bill, the state will end up supporting me which will cost ultimately far more.

It discourages saving for a rainy day. Why save anything if it all gets taken in the end.

sunshinesupermum Mon 22-May-17 10:49:32

That's all ok and I see their point but we are in a situation where our DC needs the house to live in when we are no longer here. They have mental health problems and would have nowhere to live and this has been their family home since birth

Exactly this - there must be many families in this situation plus the inceasing number of 30 somethings who cannot afford to move out of the family home at all.

Toffeelatteplease Mon 22-May-17 10:49:57

Tbh I thought it was sensible until I heard my very prudent mother asking if there was anything they could help me with now Cos if Mrs May gets it there could be nothing left at the end.

sunshinesupermum Mon 22-May-17 10:51:44

Smiling Mental health is not considered 'disabled', no matter how debilitating it may be. Physical health is considered 'disabled'. It is patently unfair.

larry55 Mon 22-May-17 11:02:47

I am a pensioner so nearer to possibly being in need of social care. I would have liked to leave as much as possible to my children but I think it is very reasonable to have to pay for care.

At the moment if I went into a care home I would have to pay until I had £23,000 left in future it will be £100,000. I know that if have care in the home I will have to pay for it but it is cheaper than going into home. We didn't save money just to give to our children but to be comfortable in our old age.

I have spoken to dd and she has said that the money is ours and if we have anything left she would love to have some money but she is not expecting it.

Biker47 Mon 22-May-17 11:07:01

plus the inceasing number of 30 somethings who cannot afford to move out of the family home at all.

£100k will help them with that.

MontyPythonsFlyingFuck Mon 22-May-17 11:10:25

Toffeelatte, you say "Mum and Dad have done fantastically well in life, enough to support themselves very comfortably in their old age. It's also enough that when they die it will support their 3 children a little." Are you saying that it's enough to do that only if they don't have to pay their own care bills? Because I'm a lot happier about paying taxes to support you and your children if you aren't in circumstances where you can earn enough to do it yourself, than I would be to pay for your parents' care so that you can inherit their estate. The state should be the carer of last resort, IME.

I have to admit, I'm quite enjoying the shrieks of UNFAIR in the Daily Mail. I agree the proposal's not perfect - but it has at least focused a lot of people's minds on the basic question, which is that when people live in retirement for about five times longer than they did 50 years ago, but assume they should be able to do it off the same pot of money as others did then, how do you balance the books? (Answer: you can't)

Biker47 Mon 22-May-17 11:12:47

Do people think this is better or worse than the changes that were coming into force in 2020; where care bills were to be capped at £72k?

ExplodedCloud Mon 22-May-17 11:14:04

It takes no account of disability that isn't in old age. If you had a car crash tomorrow at say 35 with 2 young dc and a mortgage leaving you with a mobility problem that required care you'd have pay for care either in cash or deferring your house.
You could have every choice you make for the next 40 years scrutinised for deprivation of assets. Possibly be unable to move or sell your house if you can't afford the mortgage.
It's not just about inheritance.

nauticant Mon 22-May-17 11:18:06

I'm with you OP both in your view and on being on the Left of the political spectrum.

In its current form this proposal has rough edges and unintended consequences. However, it's going along the right lines.

The State is going to need to find a vast amount of money to service this care. The value in houses is often unearned. The real hit of house value being used to pay for care would be on those who are looking forward to their inheritance. There will be people out there who are keen for the State to provide the care for their parents, and keen to ensure they get their inheritance while the care is paid for by taxpayers in general.

Using house value to finance care could have a beneficial side effect of dampening down the endless march of house prices to astronomical levels.

There's nothing wrong with also tackling inheritance and putting in place measures that mean IHT is no longer optional for the well off/rich.

However, back in the real world this is such an incendiary topic I think that ultimately governments will realise that since it will be political impossible to get people to agree to it in anything other than a watered-down form, they'll choose an alternative route of introducing by stealth charging for the NHS and then feed some of that money into care.

The fundamental question is where is the vast amount of money going to come from?

BishopBrennansArse Mon 22-May-17 11:19:29


Because it's not just about dementia. This could happen to anyone who acquires a disability and requires care in the home. It's not just the elderly. What would happen in that case to a husband/wife where one needs care at home for approx 40 years then dies - would the other then become homeless?

Mum constantly worries about what she will be able to leave me. I've told her not to do that and my parents accessing adequate care in their old age is more important to me than inheriting anything.

Due to having a disability myself I'm no longer a homeowner. I've been unable to work for a few years as I've been caring for my disabled children. I don't think I'll ever have anything to leave them apart from possessions. I don't think anyone should expect to inherit from their parents to be honest.

But then other NHS treatment is free at the point of use. This feels like creeping charging for services.

So I am really, really conflicted.

scaryteacher Mon 22-May-17 11:21:15

monty I was having this conversation with ds yesterday, who was outraged that 'cradle to grave' was promised but didn't seem to apply now. I told him it had been a waste of time paying for him to do his BA in History if he couldn't work out that people are living longer, so circumstances have changed, and whilst the bank of Mum and Dad might exist in some cases, the magic money tree doesn't!

All this proposal does as far as I can see, is apply the same rules to domiciliary care as to residential care, and up the limit at which you no longer need to pay and can get some help. If someone can afford to pay out of income and savings, and their house doesn't get touched, then nothing has changed from the current rules. The wealthy have always been able to do that, or arrange care at home. These proposals don't alter that, and allow people to retain more of the value of their house if a charge is taken over it.

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