HOW MANY WAYS CAN THIS POSSIBLY GO WRONG?

There are those who ask, and I can see their point, why should we pay for rich people’s care in their old age. Aren’t the Tories right to make people sell up and take care of themselves?

Why should the taxpayer foot a bill for people’s old age care so that their offspring can profit from the sale of their house when they die? Isn’t it reasonable that assets be sold so that the owners can be looked after as they age?

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But there are some pretty obvious questions and points that, unless they are made very clear, may blur the distinction between elderly care and NHS care:

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At what point does one become elderly? If you need care when you are 70, is that elderly, even though today you’re likely to have at least another 20 years ahead of you?  Is it elderly care when you are 60? What if, for some reason, you need that care at 45? Or 35? After all, you might have been left a house of good value. You can be a homeowner at any age.

And what if the care were for a relatively short but undefined term, say after an operation or some hospital treatment, or whatever? Maybe for 3 months, 6 months, a year?

Or what if it were a relatively young person with some disablement who had been cared for at home by parents all his or her lives, and these parents had now died leaving a substantial property? Long term care required for maybe 50 years?

Once you introduce a commercial insurance aspect into the deal you are putting the profitability of the company, salespeople’s bonuses and shareholders’ dividends above the interests of the clients.

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Who will be the winner in any game like that?

And once again, if it depends on the value of the property, and there is a cut-off point, how will that value be adjudged? Who will do the valuing? Will people, as they age, stop making improvements to their homes in order to reduce their property’s value?

And for at least some people, what will be the point of buying a house and looking after it and its gardens? Why would they bother? People without their own property who have spent their money on holidays, parties, clothes, cars and high living instead will get their care free.

And will there be different classes of care dependent on house value?

Is this the thin end of the wedge? Once we have become accustomed to selling a property to pay for care needs, will people who have acquired wealth in any form have to pay for other kinds of care?  A short stay in hospital? A new hip; radiotherapy? Where will it end? And what kind of treatment will be available to people who have nothing to sell, and no cash in the bank?

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And does anyone trust insurance companies in the City of London? As the writer above says, it is a financial scandal waiting to happen but after Mrs May has given up kitten heels for slippers.

There will be, I’m sure, many questions that I’ve failed to ask. I’m sure you will prompt me.

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One thing’s for sure though. There will be some people who won’t ever have to sell anything to be looked after in their old age. So that’s alright then.

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42 thoughts on “HOW MANY WAYS CAN THIS POSSIBLY GO WRONG?”

  1. Brilliant bit of commentary.

    It is perfectly obvious that the Tories will not ‘allow’ you to pass on property before death. For that would break their stranglehold on a state grab on cash. It is perfectly obvious that the super-rich can afford this out of their small change.

    The attack needs to be leveled directly at the super-rich, which at the poorest level, includes everyone else around her Cabinet Table.

    Let’s see some confiscation, as at death, of 99% of the inventory of anyone with over, say, a £1,000,000. Let us propose that anyone who lives here cannot have ‘beneficial tax arrangements’ that involve another nation. On pain of confiscation. Let us propose that the rich are taxed to screaming point. Let us propose that tax lawyers become a criminal class. Let us further propose that….

    Och, that’s enough for now.

    Like

  2. There’s not enough detail in their manifesto to know just how bad this policy, if implemented, will be for people. From the little I know it will certainly be worse than the current position as a person’s home is not currently counted as capital if shared with your wife/husband or partner. It now will be and the threshold of £100,000 means millions more people will in future have to fund all their own care. The current capital threshold is £23,250 in England but is only applied to savings/investments and not property value if you share the property.

    Not sure how this new proposal will impact on other people living in the home. I assume my wife can keep her half of the capital asset if I need care first. There’s always that flight to Switzerland of course but maybe that’s what the Tories want.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As I say, I can understand where the idea comes from, and in a way I can sympathise.

      But once you start chipping away at universalism, you wonder where it will go. Once upon a time we would never have dream that dental care wouldn’t be on the NHS. Now in England (as far as I know) it is not.

      Where will this policy end up in 20 years? And if we can’t afford health care, why do we have nuclear bombs? And why are we spending billions on the Palace of Westminster?

      After all, what is the difference in the care that someone gets when they are elderly, and the care they get much younger when they are in need for some other reason.

      I know it’s expensive, but, you know, these older people didn’t suddenly drop out of the air in 2010. They have been ageing since they were born in the late 40s.

      Switzerland is probably what I’d chose. And although I like Switzerland, I’d prefer the French speaking part. My German is seriously bad. 🙂

      Like

      1. Universalism has the fundamental point of being the glue of a society.

        If you get benefits, from the society you live in, whether or not you are rich or poor, and whether or not your tooth is aching or not, universalism means that you can get treated. Or fed, or supported.

        Ii is not exclusively the poor that surrender to drink, drugs or other addictions. That is just the Tories talking amongst themselves. It is pretty plain that the various NHS will pick up the debris of addictions, no matter the class, nor the quality (that was ironic) of the victims.

        If the society provides you with better protections than, well lets say the USA, then only the super-rich could vote for them.

        Theresa May, what with her new found hatred of the elderly, is walking a swinging tightrope.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I think TheStrach was referring to the Swiss assisted suicide centres.

        I don’t think you’d be there long enough to worry about whether they spoke French or Swiss German!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yeah, I know. I just think it would be easier for me to say: Tuez-moi s’il vous plaît, rather than: Bitte töte mich.

        And then there’s that long last look at Lac Leman…

        🙂

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  3. Tris,

    Now it is getting a bit scary. The Tories are not pretending anymore and are prepared to shaft even the pensioners, their staunchest supporters. If Mad Tessie May gets elected, even with a slim majority (and that is asking a lot) and implement half of their policies, god help us all. At that point, all bets are off in Scotland and we (SNP leaders, take note) should push for independence by whatever means possible.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It shows how very confident they are that they can win, even if they lose a few people on the way.

      Of course since 1950 they have wanted to dismantle all this social security and welfare state nonsense. It’s just that they have never had such a suppine opposition.

      And once we are out of the EU, and the conditions placed on us by them, she can complete the job of making this a living hell for most of us.

      I may be begging to sleep in your outhouse in Malaysia one day soon… 🙂

      This place is becoming less pleasant by the day.

      Like

  4. Tris
    There is a lack of detail as noted by other posters but for me this is all about moving the NHS towards greater pre-privatisation, we are all being set up and the scumbags are hoping that people are too stupid to notice, and sadly we know they are, just look at the amount that still support the union, says it all. I am in my late 40s now so if we remain a part of this shitty country there won’t be much to look forward to, the underfunded hospital that will be all the Scottish Parliament will be able to afford and potentially being a financial burden to family assuming they have any finances. What can’t people see, I just don’t understand why people are falling for this shit.

    I give up some days I really do.

    Bruce

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I have to say, I’m not usually that despondent, but really, it’s getting mad.

      She can be virtually a dictator. There is only the SNP, Plaid and some Irish MPs in opposition.

      Labour are too busy stabbing each other in the back. Now it seems is the time that no matter what the hard right does, it will get away with it.

      And some people are voting for it…

      Nightmare.

      Like

  5. Please, don’t give up. There are lots of links from here to other sites, it is a sort of samizdat – the Russian underground – I think when Stalin was at his peak. There are great people, and I include our good host, writing and, hopefully convincing the odd person along the way. This was never going to be easy.

    You say, rightly, that we have scumbags ruling us. If you and I and our good host can persuade 10% more or thereabouts to vote for our own future, y’know making our own mistakes, etc, etc, then we win and they lose.

    On that day, I will open a bottle of air and drink deeply of freedom.

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  6. It’s all part of how far they can push the blame game and pensioners are currently playing the starring role. The race to the bottom has stopped Joe Public from expecting anything to improve and the gullible but influential, ‘why should they have that when I can’t get it’ mob are being cynically manipulated. We’re all going to be a lot worse off because as a society we’ve allowed them to chisel away at the rights and freedoms won through industrial action and taken from the ruling class by our parents, grandparents etc… If this current trend isn’t either stopped in its tracks or we get independence most of us are going to live in greater servitude and end our lives in poverty while ever more creative ways are dreamed up to take what little we have from us.

    I’ve always believed that if people in a society can prosper and be cared for when required then that’s good for every one and that includes the well off. Great swathes of poor people in an economy aren’t buying stuff so it’s bad for business never mind the fact that civilised folk should look out for one another. Obviously this government does not share this point of view.

    It’s a land grab folks, 19th century, here we come

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  7. tris

    Can anyone point out where this Universalism is paid out
    Regardedless of cost ?????
    They all have a ceiling how many families with dying children
    Cry out for funds to take their child to the USA and other nations
    For treatment not funded by our glorious NHS.
    State Pensions are hardly gold mines for ordinary people unless
    Your a MP or MSPs.

    In all the state provided social security they are predicated on
    Protecting the individual ring fencing a persons inheritance is
    Protecting the inheritor by asking others to pay the cost of caring.

    You have to move away from the idea of passing on the family
    Estate to create a fairer society and that includes the Royal Family
    An everybody else .

    Death duties on inheritance is one if the most progressive forms
    Of taxation and funds the state and aids social mobility .
    In fact one nation which has no inheritance tax is India
    Hardly a bastion of a civil society

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    1. Niko read the post above you.

      Yes, universalism costs money, but it is the only fair ways to do things.

      I’m not unsympathetic to a death tax. But they pushed people into buying homes (most other nations don’t have anything like the % of home ownership. Then they allowed prices to skyrocket so young people can’t afford to buy a home anymore. They didn’t build rentable homes. The housing market is a complete mess.

      By all means have a death tax, but make it a state death tax. Not a pile of fly-by-night insurance companies making money out of it so that they can make contributions to the Tory Party.

      Let us not do away with one of Labour’s greatest legacies. Have a government run death tax set at reasonable rates.

      I have to ask, what is more important, a decent social security system, or doing up palaces and buying new bombs so that the Vicar’s Daughter can kill off a few million people if she feels like it and gets the firing codes from Mr Trump.

      Like

  8. Couple of points.

    Really wealthy types – say Dukes Of Westminster – structure their affairs to avoid death duties. The smarter/ richer/ greedier types will structure their affairs to avoid the circumstances you cite. So essentially its going to be “ordinary” upwardly mobile types whom the Conservatives have courted for decades who are going to be hit hardest by this. People in particular who bought houses and have ridden the property tiger. One hopes they retaliate at the ballot box.

    The real issue here is the misselling scandal. All those contracted into the NI/ pension Ponzi scheme have been conned. People were told that you paid NI to get welfare benefits. Now the other party to that contract wants to renege. A case of misselling if ever there was one.

    There does seem to be a problem with expenditure on things like pensions. They may well be unaffordable. However in every budget the Tory junta has done for years the biggest problem has not been the outgoings going OTT, but rather the persistent shortfall in tax revenues in. They never collect their forecast. So the deficit/ PSBR spirals. In those circumstances, is it really a good idea to be cutting tax rates and upping higher rate tax bands? Perhaps they should attempt to balance the books by increasing the income bit of the equation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. David … good points.

      They point blank refuse to bring in legislation that will make so much of the legal tax dodging illegal.

      They allow massive companies to get away with paying almost nothing.

      Ireland collects more in tax from the likes of Google and Amazon that the UK does.

      We could afford to treat humans like humans if only people paid their fair share.

      And of course, if we didn’t splash money everywhere.

      Tiny amount in the great scheme of things, but I’m told that incoming prime ministers get to do up the flat in Downing Street, at our expense. Cameron spent some £30,000 on improvements including a special kitchen: All in all he spent over half a million on the house and offices

      https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2011/may/27/david-cameron-taxpayers-home-improvements

      I read somewhere that Mrs May doesn’t like it and is likely to revamp it.

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3688265/How-Theresa-makover-Camerons-25-000-Downing-Street-kitchen.html

      There’s no end of money for this nonsense.

      If you don’t like the kitchen in the flat that goes with the job, live with it, or pay for a renovation yourself.

      All that aside, I completely agree with you.

      Get collecting some tax; stop wasting money and keep our universal welfare and social security systems.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah but the difference is I unlike you and the other Tory nats
        Am in favour of higher rates of inheritance tax.
        And can see no reason for others paying for my care in old
        Age so I and others in my family can leave them our houses
        Once again it’s fascinating to see the snp nats confronted
        With the choice between contributing to society and being
        tight fisted grasping greedy individuals
        And to a man or woman choosing to keep as much as they
        Can and stuff their fellow Scots.

        Wherein does the inclusive civic minded snp reside you
        Fecking hypocrites .

        I bought my house to live in and bring up my family
        and not to make a massive profit in my death.

        Like

      2. Niko. I can’t link to it here, but Google Labour’s Barry Gardiner on the subject.

        Eoin‏ @LabourEoin 5h5 hours ago
        More
        Barry Gardiner nails this. Older people will now be scared of living too long due to Theresa May’s Dementia Tax

        Like

    1. Niko, I haven’t a clue what the SNP policy is on this.

      Universalism used to be a Labour Policy. I imagine, though, that Blair ditched that nonsense as being socialist.

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  9. This whole line of argument is what I call self righteous common sense. The torys are experts at exploiting it. They put forward an idea or policy and as reasonable people our first reaction is to rationally consider the question and then we tie ourselves in knots regarding its rights, wrongs and finer points. Some of us with knowledge on the subject can put forward some intelligent information and we can all look very clever.

    Instead though when their latest wheeze is broadcast maybe the first question we should ask is not about whether we agree or disagree with the concept but rather, what will they get out of it. Why are the doing it? What is their objective? The stuff they’re running up the flagpole is bigger than whether your Labour or SNP, this is an attack on our way of life presented in the guise of being a way forward to reduce the oh so terrible deficit.

    If independence doesn’t happen anytime soon we’re going to be stuck with this shit and worse. We’re going to be arguing about who’s going to pay for what while poverty increases, the rich get richer and the rest of us are stuck in the middle stabbing each other in the back for what little is left.

    I despair, they are playing us like an old fiddle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “…the first question we should ask is not about whether we agree or disagree with the concept but rather, what will they get out of it. Why are the doing it? What is their objective?”

      Agreed. And we might add…. And where will it lead? Having achieved this, and it become “normal” in the UK, or in England… what will the next step be?

      Because I see this whole austerity thing as a ‘bit by bit’ attempt to demolish the welfare state, on the back of the economic crisis of 2008.

      I suspect that Tories have always wanted to do this, and that the crash of 2008 gave them that excuse. All the better that it happened on Labour’s watch (although of course, I don;t remember anyone in the Tory Party railing against the policies of Brown that contributed to it.

      We are all used to austerity. We are used to the poor being blamed for what the super rich did. We know it is all teh fault of the lazy, shiftless unemployed, and the people who are skiving with imaginary illnesses.. of course it is the fault of the foreigners that have come here and use all our resources, and now, it appears to be the fault of the old.

      I seriously fear that soon the only people who will not be at fault will be the royals, the bankers, and aristocrats and people in the ruling party.

      And the apparent collapse of the labour Party in England is giving them carte blanche to do this with only the SNP and Plaid and the Greens making any complaint.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Do you think maybe, just maybe, with the opinion polls showing the tory lead halved in just a few weeks, that May is going to rue the fact that she called an election? Could their oh so clever wheeze of hitting both the young and the old, be about to bite them on their collective bum. Here’s hoping.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. By focussing on IndyRef2 and arrogantly expecting that voters are interested in nothing else the Tories have created an own goal against themselves and handed the opposition parties a gift of silver haired votes to win over by way of their far right manifesto plans for funding of elderly care costs, abandonment of the triple lock on pensions, and introduction of means testing for winter payments.

    The SNP vote is steady and the one section of the vote the Tories cannot afford to lose is the elderly so these Tory manifesto plans is where the SNP should be focussing their attacks at every opportunity from now until the election.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They have accused the SNP at every turn of being obsessed by independence. Yet the other night’s debate (while the Tory tweeters were out in force and mrs May was safely at home doing girl jobs) Nicola didn’t once mention independence.

      It’s not an issue in this election.

      Like

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