Who pays for social care?

Most people agree the  UK needs to do better at providing social care. Some think it is just a case of increasing the money to pay for it by more than it has been increased in recent years. Others say there needs to be reform of the way public sector care is organised and provided. Underlying the debate are two major issues which need discussion.

The first is how much should the state pay and how much should the individual pay? The tripartisan approach for many years has been to say  healthcare should be free, but living costs are down to the individual. If the individual has little capital or private pension income, then the state will pay the living costs as well.

Some say the state should take care of more of the living costs of more people. This would require substantial tax rises to meet the bills. It would mean that instead of selling the old person’s home when they move into residential care to pay the living cost bills, the money from the estate would be preserved and pass to the children. People ask why is it fair that someone who has saved and been careful all their active lives has to pay their own living costs, whereas someone who has lived beyond their means will be paid for?

Others say the current system is fine in this respect. If someone is well off, why shouldn’t they use their own assets and income to pay for their living costs? If someone cannot afford a reasonable standard of accommodation and food, don’t we have a duty to be good neighbours and to help pay?  This is a cheaper solution for taxpayers.

The second issue is internal to government. At the moment central government pays for and runs the NHS, whilst local government pays for and runs much of the social service provision. It is true local government relies heavily on national government grants paid for out of national taxes, but local taxes have a part to play in financing social care. Many people like the idea of devolution of power over policy and spending to Councils from Whitehall, yet when problems emerge in a local service the cry often goes up for government intervention. Quite often it is easier to blame the government for alleged underfunding, than to blame individual Councils for poor or unduly expensive provision.

The public is generally  not much exercised over who runs the service. They want a good outcome. The main problem with Councils running care and the NHS running health treatments comes at the borders. An elderly person who has been treated in a hospital often needs improved care services in order to be able to return home. Some Councils are reluctant to commit in a timely and sufficient way to the need to provide social care. The elderly person then remains in a very expensive hospital bed. This costs the state more overall. Someone no longer needing treatment occupies a bed needed for someone who does  require  treatment. It is often  against the wishes and interests of the patient, who wants to get home.

Any thoughts on what reforms are needed?




  1. Lifelogic
    December 16, 2016

    There is, as you say, a problem with local authorities and the NHS pushing people from pillar to post to try to make another section of government pay. This is an endless problem in government in general.

    A bit like running a company and having all the departments fighting with each other over whose budget it is to come out of. A well run company would stop this happening, but of course government is run appallingly. No one really cares how much money is wasted nor how poor the “service” delivery is. This as it is not their money and not they who are getting the poor service.

    The state sectors concern is just that their job and pension is protected.

    The state has removed the moral hazard of failing to provide for your old age and so it responsible for creating the problem. The state is saying sell your home, forget about a pension, spend all your money on cruises and the prudent will then pick up your long term care bill. So why be prudent, Osborne’s benefit and tax system is telling you not to be?

    1. Lifelogic
      December 16, 2016

      Did we not get a promise of a long term care cap from Cameron? Was it ever delivered or was this yet another deception like Osborne’s IHT promise?

      Why is Michael Portillo (on This Week last night) so against Boris? He said he had a morbid fear of him becoming PM and even saying Gove deserved an hereditary dukedom. Surely Boris would have been far better than ex(?) remainer, tedious ditherer & failed home secretary Theresa May?

      Gove was surely a complete idiot to knife him.

      1. Mitchel
        December 16, 2016

        LL,I really do not understand your support for Boris.He is totally untrustworthy and manifestly only out for himself.I’m no fan of Theresa May-she will have to have her feet held to the fire to deliver any sort of acceptable Brexit but I would have even less confidence in Boris.

        1. Lifelogic
          December 16, 2016

          I do not think he is particularly out for himself at all. He even stood down when Gove foolishly knifed him and he would probably still have had a very good chance of winning. The members would surely have far preferred him. I do not think he would be wittering on about gender pay reporting, workers on company boards or other such damaging absurdities.

          I suspect unlike Hammond and May he understands the Laffer curve too.

          Above all he had the courage to come out for leave, unlike T May who presided over large EU and non EU immigration at the home office (under Cameron’s – to the tens of thousands lie).

          She was also going round lying to voters that we had control of our borders in the EU through Schengen, this in order to deceive them into a remain vote.

          Anyway Boris is clearly much brighter and far less boring than T May.
          He was also a proven winner even in largely Labour London (as with say with greendope & serial loser Zak).

          His Boris Island airport plan is a bit daft though.

    2. nigel seymour
      December 16, 2016

      lets start with the blindingly obvious… PART 1

      the GDP spending power of this country is circa £2.4 trillion
      we are the 5th largest economy on the planet
      we are committed to spending 2% GDP on foreign aid
      we are committed to spending 2% GDP on NATO
      we have committed to spend billions on trident nuclear deterrent
      we have have spent billions on the QE/POW carriers
      we are committed to spend millions on the F35 JSF
      the EU will do everything they can to humiliate the UK
      the EU will do everything they can to impose financial terms on the UK

  2. Lifelogic
    December 16, 2016

    Good to see Philip Davis elected to the absurdly names “women and equalities commitee”. You clearly cannot be for both women and equality.

    Though even Mr Davis beleived there is a gender pay gap. There is actually no gender pay gap that is not fully explained by the different subject women study (heavily biased towards arts, languages and humanities), the different jobs they choose to do, the different work life balance choices they make, their preference for part time and the career gaps they choose to take. Get real Mr Davis please and tell it to them straight and get T May to scrap her idiotic plan for companies to have yet more red tape heap onto them on this non issue.


    1. Hope
      December 16, 2016

      JR in recent blogs appears to make deliberate omissions. Presumably in the hope one of us loggers will do it for him. We had his blog on banks, when he knows they pay for the advertising for the EU project on behalf of Tory govt and act as a source for lucrative speeches to be made on the side for Tory MPs i.e. Osborne and Cameron. What a surprise!

      Today the Tories mass immigration policy, once more, a cause or a large contributory cause but not mentioned by JR. This issue affects all their key policies from public spending, housing, transport, welfare, health, education and security. All policies/ issues featured in JR’s blogs but not mentioned. And what has the current and previous Tory govt actually done, not lied about or given false promises, but actually done? Smear UKIP, break rules on spending at elections?, suppress the press, introduce snoopers charter, commission reports on social cohesion and ignore them, suppress the Rotherham scandal and not take substantive action and abandon the central theme to their alleged economic plan Tory balance the structal deficit while numbers to this small island with a definitive pot of money soars.

      Reply I have often written about migration

      1. Timaction
        December 16, 2016

        The Legacy Parties would prefer to spend our taxes on foreign aid, services and health provision or benefits instantly to migrants than on those British people who paid their taxes all their life. Disgraceful. Why should we be taxed more for their follies?

    2. rose
      December 16, 2016

      I was pleased to see this. PD has a polite way of dealing with extremists like Caroline Lucas.

      1. Lifelogic
        December 16, 2016

        Rather too polite I think. He could perhaps put her right on Climate Alarmism fracking and her bonkers energy policy and fake greenery too.

  3. Newmania
    December 16, 2016

    Increased life expectancy has been exaggerated due to statistical effect of ending death in child birth and infancy, but nonetheless , people are living too long .This accounts for the tetchy conservatism of current politics; but I digress ….
    Making the old pay with savings is obviously a non-starter with its perverse incentive to irresponsible living . Making the tax payer cough up is unfair as is much else in a society skewed to the needs of the non-working ( See Brexit)_
    What is required is a better organised and realistic National savings scheme covering Pensions Health and Care
    In a perfect world ( ruled by me ) I would cancel outright all Public sector pensions , confiscate their funds and transfer it to a new National old age/ care / pension / Insurance to which all would contribute towards their chosen plans with a minimum level still requiring contribution
    If we could see the cost we could see the problem and deal with it .When you think it would cost a teacher more than their entire salary top purchase the current pension on a commercial basis you begin to see the scale of problem.

    Unfortunately all we do is delude ourselves., I daresay we`ll just continue to do that

    1. Lifelogic
      December 16, 2016

      Certainly public sector pensions paid off the backs of people in the private sector who often have little or no pension provision is a racket. Needless to say the ones enjoyed by MPs are some of the best ones going.

      Many in the state sector retire with more disposable pension income than they had while working. A tax to redress of the balance between state and private sector pensions is needed, but it will not happen.

      1. Hope
        December 16, 2016

        The narrative about people living deliberately obscures that there are far more older people because the population is artificailly increased at a rate we cannot cope with either financially or through public service provision. With over a million immigrants this year alone before any realistic population growth from that number is added through breeding. The govt needs to act now and get real about what it can afford. Labour and Liberal parties will not even countenance discussion and want more of the same! They are still in the smear and label mode against anyone wanting to make it an issue.

    2. Anonymous
      December 16, 2016

      “people are living too long .This accounts for the tetchy conservatism of current politics; but I digress ….”

      I expect that generation did far more for their elderly parents than yours, which is the chief reason why we have this funding crisis in care. No sense of familial duty, you crazy kids !

      By omission, in your own comment, you are expecting a lot more from the state than they ever did.

      Of course, it is quite unsustainable but being a lefty you can’t see the reason why. The abandonment of – to quote you – ‘tetchy conservatism’ is the reason. We end up with anomolies where a prudent carehome resident subsidises a feckless one and a bankrupt country – then you blame Brexit and the people who voted for it.

  4. Lifelogic
    December 16, 2016

    The BBC yesterday had a farmer on who got 2/3 of his income from EU subsides.

    Why on earth should real businesses and productive people be taxed just so this joke of a non business farm can continue living off the backs of others? How can the other businesses compete in the world if they have to carry these parasitic businesses too. Scrap these bonkers subsidies as soon as possible please.

    Hammond says he wants more productivity, so please stop him destroying with things like this.

    1. Farmer
      December 16, 2016

      One reason is because the farmer has to comply with EU/government requirements. I have to grow 3 crops. If I was allowed to grow one crop only the additional profit would nearly equal what I receive from EU/government!

      1. Lifelogic
        December 16, 2016

        Then abolish the red tape at the same time as the subsidies.

    2. Lifelogic
      December 16, 2016

      Cancelling all the following would help pay for it.

      The daft farming subsidies, HS2, the absurd grants for expensive and intermittent and not really “green” energy subsidies, Hinkley C, not building pointless runways in St Helena or all the other poorly spent overseas aid, getting rid of all those in the state sector that do nothing of much use or worse positive damage.

      But alas we have people in charge who like all these insanities. The long delay in leaving the EU is costing a fortune every day too.

    3. Juliet
      December 16, 2016

      Feudal System “peasant or (worker) receives a piece of land in return for serving a lord or king” … who is the lord or king in the current world
      Farmer restricted as to what to grow/farm:
      – farmer receives EU subsidies
      …… farmer must employ low-skilled workers from EU
      …… worker employed as cheap labour
      …… worker receives subsidised benefits to top up wages (cost taxpayers £3500 pa)
      EU removes the Farmer choice of ‘what & how’

      1. APL
        December 19, 2016

        Juliet: “EU removes the Farmer choice of ‘what & how’”

        To be fair Juliet. It isn’t just the EU, farmers in the UK have been directed what to grow and where to grow it since the first and second world wars.

        The government even mandated the breed of pig that should be cultivated.

        An unexpected ( but should have been – since the Min of Ag geniuses, know it alltm ) is that with one breed of pig in the whole of the UK population, makes the national herd uniquely susceptible to a particular plague infecting the whole herd.

        So a decision made by bureaucrats in 1914 for quite legitimate reasons, is still impacting farming today.

        Largely, because Parliament is a legislation sausage machine. It rarely looks to repeal it’s old antiquated legislation. Being measured merely on how well it panders to the mob today.

    4. A.Sedgwick
      December 18, 2016

      One of the ironies of the past week unwittingly made in two programmes by the BBC was vast EU subsidies went to hill sheep farmers to keep the land from returning to vegetation and TREES but we are so short of home grown wood for furniture, building etc we are very dependent on imports.

  5. Narrow Shoulders
    December 16, 2016

    My father died earlier this year having spent all of his liquid assets on care as he ailed over seven years.

    Now the government expects me and others to contribute extra through my council tax for those who,unlike my father, have not saved for their retirement.

    Pay for all or pay for none. Care is the biggest tax on the better off that the government levies.

    1. A different Simon
      December 16, 2016

      Same for benefits – remove the means testing .

      I’ve got savings and am currently not well enough to work but do not get a penny from the state .

      Private insurance to provide an income in the event of health related illness would have been prohibitively expensive .

      Should have just have pissed it all up against the wall .

      HM Govt are denying me assistance and passing the saving to their beloved immigrants who have not contributed a penny .

      Will really irk if I have to sell my house just so The Conservatives , Labour and Lib Dumbs can give a house to the new electorate they are importing because they don’t like the current one .

      1. Narrow Shoulders
        December 18, 2016

        Odd that you need to lose your buffer before the state will help you but those who can afford to pay traffickers to get here and break laws in order to do so are given immediate assistance. Similarly with those who don’t work or spend their entire subsidised wages on giant tellies.

        Pay for all (subsistence existence) or pay for none.

    2. Scottspeig
      December 16, 2016

      “Pay for all or pay for none” – Indeed!

      The State, and law should treat all equally regardless of income, wealth, gender, Social habits etc.

      1. Bob Wade
        December 16, 2016

        That cant be done, the State needs people to pay all their lives for their individual care and pension. Then at the time of need, that money having been squandered, abandon them. Then ask those still paying for their own care and pension to pay more for those in care and pension, whether they can afford it or not, whilst giving 12 billion to despots.

    3. Anonymous
      December 16, 2016

      Socialism by stealth.

    4. rose
      December 16, 2016

      “Pay for all or pay for none. Care is the biggest tax on the better off that the government levies.2

      This is a tricky one. In former times of inequality, “social care” would have been called “domestic service” and some would have had it and others not. Difficult to arrive now at a situation where domestic service is available to everyone in old age on the taxpayer. The next demand will be for young mothers to have it. In fact they already do demand it in the form of “childcare”.

      1. Narrow Shoulders
        December 17, 2016

        I am not sure it is demanded by young mothers, more the state offers it in the name of equality and “arbeit mach frei” which the state is so keen on.

        Nothing wrong with a parent staying at home to look after children. Unfortunately with the encouragement of all families to have two earners it is becoming unaffordable for all but a few.

  6. Lifelogic
    December 16, 2016

    We should also surely legalise assisted suicide with suitable protections in place.

    Why on earth should people have to travel to Switzerland? Or be denied the right to choose the timing and nature of their deaths?

    1. hefner
      December 16, 2016

      Seconded, but unfortunately opposed by our kind host.

    2. Scottspeig
      December 16, 2016

      Suicide is I think illegal. Therefore assisted suicide should be. I personally do not think there exists “suitable protections” and I think all those that travel to Switzerland for AS should be charged upon return.

      1. hefner
        December 16, 2016

        Are you saying the Government should ask the ashes and their inheritors to pay. But pay for what exactly? Dignitas ask for ~£7000, and these are not paid out of any UK taxpayer.

      2. hefner
        December 16, 2016

        Dear Scottspeig, you seem to forget that laws can be changed.

      3. Lifelogic
        December 16, 2016

        No suicide is not illegal. The Suicide Act 1961 decriminalized the act of suicide in England and Wales.

        1. Lifelogic
          December 17, 2016

          Making it illegal was hardly a deterrent!

  7. eeyore
    December 16, 2016

    A sizeable element of the cost of care for those who pay for themselves (at rates between £30,000 and £75,000 a year, largely depending on where the care home is) consists of compulsory subsidy for those who don’t and are paid for by the council. A careful, prudent poor person may easily find him or herself subsidising feckless or cynical wealthy people. I have seen this happen in my own family.

    Haven’t we all a duty to plan for our old age so as not to be a burden on our fellow citizens? And hasn’t the State a similar duty not to punish good behaviour and reward bad?

    As Mr Redwood points out, a sufferer from dementia must pay the social cost of care, with only the medical cost being met by the State. Dementia, however, is a disease like any other. Sufferers from all other diseases have their social costs met too. Why the difference?

    1. Lifelogic
      December 16, 2016

      Indeed, in effect yet another tax on the prudent paying higher fees to subsidise the one who were not. The planning system does the same thing in housing where developers are forces to provide subsidises social housing. This end up be paid for by the other buyers. Yet another back door tax this on top of all the countless front door ones.

    2. rose
      December 16, 2016

      The difference is that a disease like AIDS had very fashionable people to support its sufferers while dementia hasn’t so far.

      1. A different Simon
        December 16, 2016

        Politicians seem to have bought in to the celebrity culture even more than the electorate they look down on .

        Many Politicians are celebrities themselves and not just those who go on jungle reality TV programs .

        The entertainment industry celebs they have most in common with are i) those from a privileged background and ii) the Kardashian sisters – famous for nothing more than being famous .

        The party political system has been such a massive distraction – just as it was always intended to be .

    3. Lifelogic
      December 17, 2016

      Why the difference?

      A convenience ruse to save the government money and try to evade paying out on their great “National Insurance” deception.

    4. Dunedin
      December 17, 2016

      @eeyore “A sizeable element of the cost of care for those who pay for themselves (at rates between £30,000 and £75,000 a year, largely depending on where the care home is) consists of compulsory subsidy for those who don’t and are paid for by the council.”

      Thank you for highlighting this – it can run into hundreds of pounds a week and is a scandal which needs a lot more exposure.

  8. alan jutson
    December 16, 2016

    Rather than tinker around the edges, social care needs to be completely re-thought out from a zero position.

    Should it really be local governments job to fund the care of its local people with the inevitable post code lottery that creates, or should we have National rules and funding.

    Should all people pay some element or not.

    I favour National funding with the same rules for all, and not the present fiasco where some get help and others are left to fend for themselves due to complicated local rules, medical conditions, and personal finance.

    If a person needs to be in a nursing home, then why not simply take a large percentage of their state pension back to help the state pay for it as a way of them contributing, after all food, heat, light power and a home is provided, so why do they need a full pension as well.

    This will never get posted if I list all of the lengthy options, which also clearly need to re- visit State benefit’s at the same time.

    So why not a very basic but realistic full medical help plan for all, and if you want extra’s over and above what you are entitled to, then you pay for them.

    Present system is a farce, and yet another smack in the face for the prudent.

    1. a-tracy
      December 16, 2016

      If every locality had its fair share of social housing, this could be evened out everywhere with every 20,000 residents having 15% living in that area then local council funding would be fairer but our Government has liked to build all of its social care in the same spots, 65% of the Councils social housing is in one town in our County and the stress on this small local council is too great.

    2. Lifelogic
      December 16, 2016

      The state pension would hardly scratch the surface of care homes.

      1. alan jutson
        December 16, 2016


        “..scratch the surface…”

        Agreed, but it would help.

        The idea that some people can still claim and be paid a full state pension, whilst the state also pays the full cost of a care home for them because they have few savings/investments seems rather too generous.

    3. graham1946
      December 16, 2016


      Re your fifth para.

      Don’t know if it’s different now, but I doubt it. When a person goes into a council run or funded care home, his pension is already taken away. My father had all of his old age pension and his private pension taken away and was allowed £5 per week for treats. Even then he was only in there for 18 months and when he died I was sent a bill for £13,000 to be paid from selling his house, which in those days was worth only £20,000. By the timer all the legal and funeral costs were covered there was nothing left. His room mate, an inveterate smoker and gambler all his life, who had no assets at all, had all his costs paid and his family walked away with no liabilities at all. This cannot be right. It needs complete re-thinking.

    4. stred
      December 16, 2016

      Agreed. As someone who had to fight the system on behalf of a disabled relation, the present system only works well when the help is eventually agreed and the person is settled in. Before then there is buck passing and endless assessment. It sometimes seems they spend more on assessment and deciding who takes responsibility than helping the patient.

      In every other department councils waste money and make residents lives worse, such as residents parking, leaving roads empty and inaccessible, and HMO licencing, leaving large houses under occupied because of application of rules to more than 2 unrelated persons.

      Why give them the job of looking after people who are in and out of medical care, so that the councils are bouncing patients between themselves and leaving patients in hospitals after treatment.

      They are losing schools and cannot even collect rubbish and recycle properly. Planning and building regulation is an expensive farce. Yet top salaries and pensions increase and multiply.

    5. Scottspeig
      December 16, 2016

      Sensible view

  9. Roy Grainger
    December 16, 2016

    If people have assets they should use them to pay for care – children have no right to expect any inheritance. For those who can’t afford to pay basic-level care should be provided by the tax payer.

    1. Narrow Shoulders
      December 16, 2016

      I agree that those who can pay should. Where we disagree is the provision to those who can’t pay. Moral hazard I am afraid.

      All pay or none pay

    2. Graham
      December 16, 2016


      Let’s be up front here and say that if your policy was formally introduced then assets would be transferred rightly to children long before care was needed – then all of us could join the queue for basic care.

      This this is not a moral issue you should understand it’s someone’s hard earned cash in most cases.

      Not sure who pays for that mind you under your plan.

      Live long and prosper.

    3. alan jutson
      December 16, 2016


      Why should people who choose to save/invest a bit, rather than gamble or drink the lot away have to pay.
      What incentive does that give anyone, other than to spend the lot, because the state will always provide.

    4. Scottspeig
      December 16, 2016

      So why bother with assets? This creates a perverse situation.

      Why shouldn’t I be able to live a more prudent life to benefit my children? Bizarre view in my opinin.

      1. bratwurst
        December 16, 2016

        Scottspeig – Bother with assets so you can afford to care for yourself when the time comes. Ypur children can then have what’s left. Why should the rest of us pay for your care when you have assets to do so yourself?
        Bizarre view in my opinion.

      2. Roy Grainger
        December 16, 2016

        Probably you have no experience of the basic level care the state pays for. I can assure you you’d pay for better than that if you had the money.

    5. Anonymous
      December 16, 2016

      So we end up socialist by default.

      It’s what happens when we abandon conservative values and families expect the state to take responsibility for everything they do.

      1. Roy Grainger
        December 16, 2016

        On the contrary, your idea that the state should pay for everyone’s social care irrespective of their wealth is pure socialism.

  10. Ian Wragg
    December 16, 2016

    This is a continuation of yesterday John.
    The legacy parties are busy cutting services for the average Joe whilst squandering money on foreign aid, tribute to Brussels on an ever rising trajectory.
    Bankrupting families with unaffordable power bills and white elephants like Hinckley Point and HS2.
    At the next election there will be a party which will pledge to scap overseas aid, scrap the stupid climate change act and ensure the Brussels gravy train isn’t financed by us.
    Then we can fund care for the elderly.
    As you said, why do politicians keep following policies that are to the detriment of voters.

    1. Narrow Shoulders
      December 16, 2016

      On the tribute subject, why has someone in the government not slapped down the thought of paying any exit fee to the EU?

      £50 billion for ongoing liabilities?

      Does that mean 1/28 of every EU building and other assets will be forever England?

      They owe us for the assets we as net contributors have purchased. Give us back the Greek and Latvian roads and schools we have paid for.

    2. Cheshire Girl
      December 16, 2016

      In reply to your last question. Because it makes them feel good, and raises their profile with the ‘luvvie’ brigade! It also makes it seem that they are ‘doing ‘ ‘something, but in reality they are only ‘saying’ something.
      A fraction of the money frittered away on other countries, would plug the gap, until a better solution could be found. I just wish the Government would ‘bite the bullet’ even if it did cost them votes!

    3. Lifelogic
      December 16, 2016

      Indeed, certainly we should follow Trump’s lead on the climate alarmism religion and go for cheap energy. I doubt if May & Hammond have sufficient gumption to do so.

      It all seems to come under Grieg Clark now, who is almost as lefty, Libdem, EU loving and wrong headed as his namesake Ken. Get some one sensible in like Peter Lilley. Someone numerate, sensible, with a science degree and an understanding of energy engineering and energy economics.

    4. Lifelogic
      December 16, 2016

      Of Grieg Clark wiki says:

      He joined the Social Democratic Party while at Cambridge and was an executive member of its national student wing, Social Democrat Youth and Students (SDYS) and, in 1987, president of Cambridge University Social Democrats.

      So no change there then. I assume he just thought he had a better change of a seat with the Tories than the Libdims.

    5. acorn
      December 16, 2016

      Adult care services employs more people – 1.55 million – than the NHS. But it only gets £14 billion – and getting smaller since 2011 – of the total health and social care budget of £129 billion. The funding streams and management structure are a mess across 150+ different councils, who will spend a third of their budgets on forms of social care.

      We need a new Ministerial department for Health; Housing and Social Care. All three are closely related. Start thinking about co-payment and a basic state health insurance scheme for a start.

      Or, sell it to Virgin, along with the Trains.

    6. stred
      December 16, 2016

      Omit ‘the na’ and correct ‘story’ Sorry, my laptop keyboard is slow and google grammarly blocks the down arrow, making it impossible to correct mistakes.

  11. David
    December 16, 2016

    Make pro single mums share homes and spend the saving on old age care.
    Then there will be cheaper housing as well for those of us who cannot afford a decent home

  12. Old Albion
    December 16, 2016

    My mother in law is in a care home suffering from Dementia. The cost to us is £1500/month. Now your government wants us to contribute to every other care home residents costs, by a further 2% increase in council tax !!!!!!!!!
    As others have said, perhaps we should spend everything we have on holidays and fast cars.

    1. alan jutson
      December 16, 2016

      Old Albion

      “£1,500 per month”

      Such care provision in Wokingham and the surrounding area’s are, in a care home, well over £1,000 per week and rising each year!

  13. Antisthenes
    December 16, 2016

    The NHS and social care are being assailed on many sides by cost increasing policies and practices. Regulation, bureaucracy, restrictive practices, union intransigence and the living wage are all contributing to their soaring and unsustainable costs. They are inefficient, wasteful and dysfunctional. The way they are structured no amount of money will improve them much or for long before more will be needed.

    Even restructuring will not be of much benefit if if does not mean relaxing even abolition some of the current constraints. Changing the provision and funding even if radical will not do it alone. That, decentralising and drip feeding it more money may slow down the decline in those services but it will not stop it.

    The French system if adopted and improved upon is a possible solution but without removing the restrictions to efficiency that the state encouraged by the public and the employees keep heaping on these services then they will never be fit for purpose or affordable. I see no likelihood of that happening as the latest insanity being visited on police forces that all police officer be required to have a degree is anything to go by.

    Nurses now require a degree and that has not achieved any benefit. The reverse is the case. Nurses no longer do the jobs that they traditionally have done and now more staff are going to be hired to fill that gap. Increasing costs. Senior medical staff are empire building by delegating their work to them without increasing their own productivity. The usual state bureaucratic solutions being applied at the behest of the employees with little concern as to the impact on the patient. Even though the reason given for these changes is to benefit them which of course is a sham.

  14. JoolsB
    December 16, 2016

    Once again, it is only hard pressed English tax payers who will see a hike of 6% in their already exorbitant council tax.
    Here’s a suggestion John which won’t go down well with this anti-English, liberal, out of touch ‘Tory’ Government. Instead of constantly squeezing English councils, how about scrapping the Barnett Formula thus giving English taxpayers more of their own money to spend on themselves rather than the rest of this dis-UK and also the unpopular arbitrary aid budget which will see us borrowing 15 billion a year by 2020 to give away on not always either worthy or deserving causes? What more worthy or deserving cause could there be than to give some of it to our own for a change – our elderly in particular? Shame on them!

    1. Dunedin
      December 17, 2016

      @JoolsB ” Once again, it is only hard pressed English tax payers who will see a hike of 6% in their already exorbitant council tax.”

      No Jools, there are plenty of hard pressed tax payers in Scotland too. Across the country, council tax bands E-F-G-H are being raised by £105, £207, £335, and £517 respectively. Even higher increases are being proposed for the top banded properties in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen. On top of this, councils will also be allowed to increase council tax by a maximum of 3% a year.

      In this week’s Scottish budget, more middle income earners were pulled into the 40% income tax bracket by a policy of not increasing the threshold in line with the rest of the UK.

      The SNP looks after their own voters at the expense of everyone else.

  15. a-tracy
    December 16, 2016

    I hope the full extra money raised from Council Tax to pay for social care is ringfenced in addition to the current budget for social care or there will be hell to pay if it goes into the staff pension shortfalls, just look at those amounts over the past ten years!

  16. JoolsB
    December 16, 2016

    “Many people like the idea of devolution of power over policy and spending to Councils from Whitehall, yet when problems emerge in a local service the cry often goes up for government intervention.”

    Who are these people John who are asking for devolution at local level? Not I nor anyone I know. Why is your party (which would not exist without England) determined along with Labour and the Lib Dums to break England up into competing regions? Instead of imposing devolution on England at a local level, the answer which you all choose to ignore for your own self serving reasons is to ask England if she would like the same level of national autonomy as the other parts of this so called union already enjoy. The Scots, Welsh & NI have been asked more than once, England never. Then and only then, would England have a voice and someone standing up for it, unlike now, and demanding equal funding with the rest of this dis-UK and demanding an end to the constant discrimination against our elderly, our young and our sick by this UK overnment, a Tory one at that.
    Devolution TO England as a whole first and then any devolution within England should be up to the English to decide, not 650 self serving UK politicians in a UK Government who put the rest of this dis-UK first and England last every time

  17. agricola
    December 16, 2016

    In answer to your title question, we all do through taxation, national , local , and on almost everything we buy. Government may be the inefficient servant of the people, but in fact pays for nothing. I would re-think totally the way government generates income but that is a separate matter.
    I work on the principal that once a persons working life and investment income has been taxed, what is left is theirs to dispose of as they wish. It is not a pot of gold for profligate government to plunder like some wastrel member of the family. I therefore consider inheritance tax and being forced to sell ones home to pay for care in ones final years, or for recovery from a stay in hospital as iniquitous. We either have a national health system or we do not. There is an acceptable argument for being asked to pay a mess bill as this would be paid in normal healthy life.
    What is clear is that we need a joined up system. Hospital to post operative care and release, or permanent final care. Patients should not be allowed to back up in any part of the system through inadequate provision. It leads to inefficiency in an otherwise well run service. Mental heath care is a glaring omission in this discussion.
    I will not debate exactly how it can be achieved, but I would say that each part of the system must be legally bound and accountable. There is also a lengthy debate on how government should operate financially, sufficient to say, not as they have done for the last hundred years.

  18. Liz
    December 16, 2016

    Why do care homes cost such a lot when most of the staff are on the minimum wage? A break down of costs might be illuminating and it should be illegal to force self funding patients to subsidise council funded patients – this is a tax by another name. Some pensioners might prefer fewer benefits when they are still active for more help when they need care. Bus passes only for those retired at the current pension age, some people in work are getting them at the moment, and then only to those with no more than one car per household. Fuel payments only for those in lower council tax band houses, ditto single occupant concessions. There is no rationality to benefits and social care for the elderly when there us only so much money to go round and there is a limit to how much tax people are prepared to pay.

    1. rose
      December 18, 2016

      I think there are good arguments for the universal pensioners’ bus pass.

      1 It is good environmentally as it encourages old people not to use their cars. No clogging up the roads and no parking spaces needed either.
      2 It is good healthwise as they have to walk a bit and climb on and off buses. They also have to use their brains to work out their journeys. This all staves off incapacity and encourages independence.
      3 It gets people out and it is good for them to meet other old people on the bus.

      1. rose
        December 18, 2016

        4 It is safer for old people not to drive – reactions may be slower, eyesight, especially at twilight and night-time not so good, possibility of having a stroke or heart attack at the wheel higher.

  19. JM
    December 16, 2016

    This is a problem of over-taxation. When the state takes a lot of people’s money, they, not unreasonably, expect something in return for it. It creates a sense of expectation and entitlement. The fact is that we no longer regard the state as a provider of last resort. For most people it is now the provider of first resort. This is going to be a very hard nut to crack.

    To those who ask why should the prudent and thrifty be penalised at the expense of those who were not so inclined, I ask, “You save for a rainy day. When does it begin to rain?” Also, “Why should nurses, dustmen, etc. pay taxes so that my children may inherit?”

    I regard it is my duty to be as self-sufficient as possible and only to seek help from the state as a last resort. This means that I and my family will seek to care for ourselves and each other from our own resources. If we all took this approach, then there would be more resources for those who were not so able and, perhaps, a reduction in the tax burden; but that is probably too much to ask.

    Fragmentation of the family unit, which has been Government policy of all governments for many years, is also not helping. When are we going to realise that the great social experiment that we have been conducting for the last half century has failed? All of the data shows that families where the parents are married and stay together for life do better on every measurement than those who are in some way “disadvantaged”. Instead of applying sticking plasters, e.g. hand wringing about social mobility, we should be addressing the root cause. Government policy should be focused on encouraging marriage and facilitating long marriages. The family unit is the essential building block of a stable society. Successive government has destroyed it and we are now reaping the harvest.

  20. oldtimer
    December 16, 2016

    Entirely OT: I hear that Mr Obama is complaining about the unacceptability of a foreign power (he named Russia) seeking to influence a US election (the recent US Presidential election). He seems to have forgotten his own blatant attempt to influence the recent UK referendum on UK membership of the EU.

  21. a-tracy
    December 16, 2016

    How on earth can the people comment on this when we don’t know the figures. What % of the over 65’s are in social care by each MP’s area. Is there a breakdown of 65-75 years, 75-85 years, 85 and over? Do we know how many are 100% supported by the taxpayer? Of that figure, what % of them have lived over 40 years in the UK?

    This isn’t going to end well for those under 65 now who are being told you can’t even get your state pension until your 67-70 or maybe never! The top 20% of ‘never claimed a penny’ paying once again for the 20% that have taken out all their lives.

  22. John Finn
    December 16, 2016


    I’m not sure the situation is even as straightforward as you describe it. It appears that, in some cases, care (.e.g Nursing home care) can be provided under the NHS Continuing Care programme. I personally know of a case where one patient has received NHS CC while another – with the same condition – is paying for themselves. I don’t believe NHS funding is means-tested.

    1. alan jutson
      December 16, 2016


      The rules and criteria for Continuing Care vary from area to area, as the rules of each Health Authority are different (a lottery and a nonsense) throughout the country.

      1 in 1,000 applications for Continuing Care are successful, after detailed medical assessments are completed.

      You need to be very, very seriously and desperately ill and totally incapable of self help, on at least three separate and different aspects of criteria to qualify.

      How do I know, I contested four medical assessments on my mother before it was agreed she qualified.

  23. JimS
    December 16, 2016

    We could stop increasing the number of people who are going to get old here.

    ‘Guest workers’ on temporary visas is good; immigrant plus family plus dependents isn’t, as ultimately that will increase demand for services earlier than babies that are born here will.

  24. Bob
    December 16, 2016

    Why not have a National Insurance system whereby everyone pays contributions throughout their working lives to provide for healthcare, unemployement protection, a basic pension and nursing care if and when they become to frail to look after themselves?

    Surely a civilised society should be able to organise such provision?

    Obviously, the fund would need to be protected from people like Andrew Mitchell who might want to plunder it for virtue signalling purposes.

  25. unthinkable
    December 16, 2016

    Exit Eu before anything.

    Mobilize rich retired
    Not an answer but I’d like top bods giving regular time to the needy without publicity.
    Like Profumo/Aitken

  26. Jack
    December 16, 2016

    The government absolutely does not need to raise taxes in order to spend more on social care, or any part of government spending for that matter. The government’s “budget” is not like an individual’s / household’s / business’. It is the issuer of the currency. Taxes should only be raised if demand-pull inflation is getting a bit too high, and genuine inflation rather than inflation caused by high interest rates or an isolated price rise (i.e. oil, etc).

    JR needs to start thinking in terms of real resources, not phony financial constraints that do not apply to a monetarily sovereign government with a free floating exchange rate.

  27. ian
    December 16, 2016

    Everything else has ended up going into the banks & government black hole they have made why not social care, politician won’t stop it it more money for big business as they say and markets, that not counting 3 billion off the schools and the rest of the cuts, who going to stop them taking all the money the people provide in taxes, it the people who provide the taxes to be spend on themselves, not the other way round, big business is already taking out more than it put in and their gets bigger every year as the pot grows small.

  28. Kenneth
    December 16, 2016

    I think the mistake that was made (some years ago) was for the State to bypass the family and form a relationship with the individual.

    It is human nature for families to look after their young and elderly.

    The State needs to carefully withdraw from these intimate relationships and concentrate its efforts on looking after those with no family – the destitute.

    This would reduce problem surrounding the border between social and medical care, although one idea may be to abolish NHS trusts and have councils buy all health services from the NHS thus uniting social and medical disciplines and saving some taxpayer money.

  29. DaveM
    December 16, 2016

    So would the cost if social care be more or less than 0.7% of GDP?

    I see people throughout the world worse off than us and have no objection to helping them if practicable. However, charity begins at home.

  30. Bert Young
    December 16, 2016

    Perhaps the most important “internal” government matter is the allocation of Foreign Aid money . Reports indicate that considerable funds are abused , go into the wrong pockets , and are wasted on ridiculous projects . We have always lambasted the EU for this sort of irresponsible behaviour and uttered strong criticism of the way their accounts are supervised ; we should apply the same criteria to our own management of Foreign Aid .

    Care of the Elderly is a responsibility that should not suffer at the expense of wasted Foreign Aid money ; it should NOT become an extra burden on Local Government with its consequent knock on effect to the taxpayer and homeowner . A local Care Home is charging £1500 a week in South Oxfordshire ! ; how many pensioners can face this sort of expense ?. More consideration ought to be given to support at home for the elderly ; the provision of this sort of service would be less expensive and more practical . I am told that a “live in carer” costs £800 per week .

    Government has to get its priorities right .

  31. graham1946
    December 16, 2016

    1) This should not be a local authority cost at all, as there is too much chance of a postcode lottery as well as what we are seeing now, Central government ducking its responsibilty by off loading to Local Authorities. I imagine a constituency like JR’s would be much better off than one where a great portion of the population is on benefits. There should be a certain minimum standard of care for all regardless of wealth and this can only be funded nationally. How it is paid for is a simpler matter and depends on the government’s priorities (god help us with this for all the fruitcake things they like – HS2, Hinckley etc. but we must assume we’ll get a sensible government one day).

    2) Stop closing hospital beds. Almost every week we hear of more wards being closed to ‘save money’ which never works long term, just adds to the problem as the population grows and costs more in the end. Governments always chose the most expensive way of saving money because they are too short termist in outlook. Health and Education etc should be taken away from politicians to play with and their pet theories which are invariably wrong.

    3)Turn the clock back 60 years and have hospitals run ‘convalescence homes’ where people not in medical need can be cared for more cheaply than in a full blown hospital beds until they can be dealt with at home. Some times, modernity is not the best way and we can learn from the past.

    There are many more ideas, but I keep this as short as possible.

  32. rose
    December 16, 2016

    “People ask why is it fair that someone who has saved and been careful all their active lives has to pay their own living costs, whereas someone who has lived beyond their means will be paid for?”

    It is worse thatn this: people who have lived like church mice all their lives end up subsidising council payments for people who haven’t. Councils won’t pay the full amount because they know the other old people will make up the difference.

    The problem has become like education in the 80s: something has been put on to local property taxation that should relly be nationally funded, and is driving all the local services out. So libraries, parks, musems, art galleries, policing, rubbish collection, street cleaning, street lighting are all at risk of being cut one by one as the cost of social care soars. The system of funding must be radically reformed before any more damage is done to local life.

    1. rose
      December 16, 2016

      Besides going on to national taxation rather than local property taxation, it would make sense to recoup the cost from the international aid budget. By all means help poor countries but there is a lot of need in this country which is being ignored. How can it be virtuous to borrow money and then give it away with no intention of paying it back?

  33. L.F.Buckland
    December 16, 2016

    We may be approaching this question – of how to provide care for elderly people – from entirely the wrong angle.
    Last night’s News gave two sequential reports: the first was from a muddy overcrowded camp at Idlib (Syria) “I have asked all families to share, two families to a tent, so we can make space for our brothers from Aleppo”
    The next news item was the cost of Care for the UK elderly.
    We are not as poor as the Idlib refugees. We don’t live in tents. Why is it unimaginable that we don’t care for our own families?
    If the government were to subsidise true ‘home care’ and prepare the ground for a change of attitude, families would return to being multi-generational families… the advantages at every level are abundant.

  34. John Booth
    December 16, 2016

    Mr Redwood. The answer to funding social care is so obvious to any sensible taxpayer. Divert some money from the bloated, unnecessary and ideological Overseas Aid budget. UK citizens should come before giving money away (and wasting much of it) to other countries.

    Why aren’t you and every Conservative MP not shouting this from the rooftops on a daily basis?

    1. rose
      December 16, 2016

      No PM is going to dare to overturn this. Philip Davies asked the question in the House on Wednesday, just suggesting that the increase, not the whole budget, go to old people here but Mrs May wouldn’t hear of it. No guts.

    2. hefner
      December 16, 2016

      £285 m of Overseas Aid budget spent on an airport in StHelena Island, a British territory, to allow some “work” to be carried out by RAF planes.

    3. Bob Wade
      December 16, 2016

      Absolutely correct.

  35. Anna
    December 16, 2016

    I speak from knowledge here. My husband is seriously disabled as he has advanced Parkinson’s Disease, heart disease and is wheelchair-bound after a spinal injury and unable to walk. I am 73 and care for him at home, paying for carers who come morning and evening to shower and dress him, and put him to bed in the evening. I am ‘on duty’ seven days a week from 6.30 in the morning until his last dose of medication is given at 9.30. I have had five days’ respite this year and am currently absolutely exhausted and struggling with a shoulder injury from a fall downstairs which is not responding to treatment.

    My problem is arranging respite care so that I can recharge my batteries and continue to care for my husband at home. This is almost impossible to obtain even though we are prepared to pay the full fee of about £1000 a week as no care home locally will take him now. In the past, respite beds were always available but now homes run to capacity and respite beds are available only an ad hoc basis, if a resident goes into hospital or dies. It is impossible to book a holiday or make any plans in advance for a break. I have also had local care companies come in to look after him at home at a cost of £2000 but they are so stretched and short of staff that they cannot offer a 24/7 service. Social Services are unable to help.

    If at the beginning of the year I could book a week’s respite at three monthly intervals I could do this job. It would cost the taxpayer nothing as we are prepared to meet all costs ourselves. It surely makes sense to keep carers fit rather than drive them into the ground through lack of support. You might ask why I don’t put him into permanent residential care. The answer is that it is often less than satisfactory but tolerable for a week. It would be insupportable to know that he was not getting the standard of care as a permanent resident that he gets at home.

    Reply If you are a Wokingham constituent please send me an email if you would like me to take up the lack of respite care – or contact your own MP if you live elsewhere.

  36. Prigger
    December 16, 2016

    There was a very famous British celebrity with his works still selling worldwide. He took long-term ill in his old age. His family were forced to sell all memorabilia..everything that was his and theirs and would be theirs. Had he remained healthy, he would be millionaire with money still rolling in.
    Just what have you got to do in our country to succeed?

    1. Roy Grainger
      December 16, 2016

      So you are saying I as a taxpayer should pay for his social care to enable his family to get a big inheritance ? Odd idea.

      1. Longinus
        December 16, 2016

        The celebrity has probably paid for his pathetic state provided social care many times over from his taxes over many years. Odd idea that he has to fund your social care as well.

      2. Prigger
        December 16, 2016

        Roy Grainger:
        It is not “to enable his family to get a big inheritance ?”. It is to finance his social care for which he has already paid through paying every national, local tax and VAT tax asked and demanded of him.
        The actual point I was making was that despite his fantastic success, very hard work, beyond his retirement age he still ended up in relative poverty. He retired at 90 years of age.

  37. Juliet
    December 16, 2016

    Catch 22 Situation NHS Budget £105.8bn [or] Council Care Budget £19.7bn

    1. If Govt have been putting more money into social care and health and we have
    ….. know population of elderly, why do we have a funding gap of £4.6bn?
    2. If £4.6bn was cut from the social care budget in the last parliament where
    ….. was it offset?
    3. Social Care Funding either (NHS / Local Authorities) means-tested*?
    ….. State of care for the over-65s = 1.2 million people with care needs go without help
    ….. 4 in 10 people in care homes pay for themselves
    ….. 300,000 fewer people receive council-funded help than 4 yrs ago
    ….. £100,000 or more spent on care by 1 in 10 people

    Foreign Aid Budget (£12.2bn in 2016) and the Social Care Funding gap of (£4.6bn)
    why can’t we take from the Foreign Aid Budget!

    But if NHS was only allocated to UK Citizens, and if it was mandatory that everyone else take out health insurance to use NHS or go private, NHS would not be over-stretched.
    – NHS is being stretched thingly to give everyone access (NHS is not a world service)
    – Everyone who do not contribute are accommodated (unsustainable)
    – NHS failing at recovering the cost of health tourist treatments
    – Social Care pushed to back burner as low priority

    NHS crisis began in 2006, over the years we’ve had a high influx of EU migration, alongside immigration from non-EU countries, and existing ageing UK population.
    If you have people moving as family units (young, working age, elderly) as oppose to as an individual; this all adds pressure to the existing NHS population, and will have a knock-on effect on the service prioritisation in healthcare sector.

    Problem with Councils: demand/supply
    – No one manages flow of EU migration into areas that have funding gaps /cut-backs
    – Councils cannot budget/plan, if unknown how many EU nationals move in/out
    – Large number of zero-contract EU workers do not contribute to Social Care budget

    I do not want to be paying more in Council Tax for Social Care shortfall. That will mean we are continually paying in more towards NHS, Council Tax, Taxes to accommodate additional population due to freedom of movement

  38. E.S Tablishment
    December 16, 2016

    Local Authorities are empowered to waste billions. They do. The money arrives in packages designated to spend of certain infrastructure and other things. They spend it all. Failure to do so results in the next boatload of money for the said items reduced or removed. It is a known problem. Not dealt with. The money continues. The useless unneeded maintenances/ rebuilding/ building anew of what appears on paper as worthwhile continues.

    Money sent to Local Authorities should be reduced year-upon-year and an absolute cap on Council-Tax and in fact annual reduction in Council-Tax. Uproar!. Then let it uproar even more, with all Councillors needing to stand for re-election every single year bar none. Plus a 50% reduction next year in the number of local Councillors.
    Money will miraculously be found for Social Care.

  39. treacle
    December 16, 2016

    My view, as a Conservative, is that the state should provide and pay for as little as possible. This will result in lower taxes, enabling people to save money, buy insurance, and pay for services themselves. So people should pay for their own care, with the government stepping in to provide a very basic service only when absolutely necessary. Socialists and the BBC keep on demanding that the government provide more and more: last year it was childcare costs (what happened to the idea that you have children only when you can afford to?), this year it is social care. Next year it will be something else. This has to stop. People must be self-reliant, and plan for their old age. Arranging to have a house to sell is a good way of doing that planning.

    Mr Redwood, would you care to comment on the Daily Mail’s claim that we are being required to pay the EU £50 billion the moment Article 50 is triggered?


    Reply I didn’t know the EU had a sense of humour. OI see no need to carry on paying once we ‘ve left.

    1. Roy Grainger
      December 16, 2016

      Presumably we have to keep paying contributions to the pay-as-you go pensions of the likes of Kinnock even after we’ve left ?

      1. Bob
        December 17, 2016

        @Roy Grainger

        “Presumably we have to keep paying contributions to the pay-as-you go pensions of the likes of Kinnock even after we’ve left ?”

        No, of course not. Those pensions are EU liabilities.

        The EU has asset as well as liabilities.
        One of their assets is the Parliament building in Strasbourg.
        They could fund the pensions by selling it. They don’t need two.
        The MEPs move between Brussels & Strasbourg at a cost of £150m a year, the staff arrive in Strasbourg by train, plane and car. Their paperwork – crate loads of it – are driven down from Brussels in a fleet of lorries.

      2. Lifelogic
        December 18, 2016

        Why? These are surely EU liabilities, not that Kinnock and the likes deserve any pension for trying to kill UK democracy in this way.

  40. Ron Philips
    December 16, 2016

    Andrew Dillnot wrote a detailed report on this some years ago. I recall it included a mix of private insurance coupled with state help. I thought it was an excellent report written by a very intelligent person. Sadly it has been rejected by the government resulting in increased misery for many on low incomes.

  41. Eh?
    December 16, 2016

    I guess most people who are most charitably minded merely grin whenever politicians at the top speak of limited resources.
    Lack of money, our money, in the hands of Town Hall bureaucrats is fantasy.

  42. norman
    December 16, 2016

    John – getting down to the roots, its about respect for the sanctity of life, from the womb to the grave. Sadly, we are seriously adrift on this, so perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised at callous mutterings about living too long, or needing to go away and die. However, my impression is that there’s massive waste and bad management in Public Sector services, and in due course, these will have to be imaginatively addressed, in a fair and sensible way. Denial, and the hope that it will go away, will make matters worse. Appoint a task force – (6-12 people: a sort of jury) – representing all parties, including business, caring professionals and user interests, to see what they can identify, and make recommendations. They’d need to be handpicked. Worth a try?

  43. Pragmatist
    December 16, 2016

    Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin sent Heads of Council who wasted “money belonging to the People” to the Gulag Archipelago..ten years hard labour. But many of them escaped, bribed their way out of it or died before completing their rehabilitation into civilised society.
    Perhaps confiscating their bank account money and building better barbed wire fencing is worth a try.

  44. Bryan Harris
    December 16, 2016

    This is basically a community problem – but since most of our communities are such by name only then we have something of an issue.

    It shouldn’t be up to either the council or the NHS to provide “social” care – if we were a real community that care would happen naturally and close to home.

    This needs to be taken into account when new homes are built – we need that social factor adding in, so that it is easy to stay in your local area but rely more on people we know to help us out – just as we would help others before us.
    The Indian spirit of family is what we have lost, and what we badly need to reinvent.


    This leads on to another aspect of people living longer past retirement.

    Another area we need to re-think:

    It is a crying shame, that most people when they retire just vegetate and get ready to die. There should be some way to re-school such people, tap their energies and knowledge and really make use of them – in a suitable way.

    Maybe it comes down to state provided schools to train such people for useful activities and allow them to give a lot of themselves back to the country – It would need a lot of thought, but even if this “schooling” only prepared people to get more out of retirement that would be good – Yet there is so much more that could be achieved with a little application of BREXIT innovation.

  45. Bob Wade
    December 16, 2016

    It cannot be right to say to the people of the nation that the country cannot afford this or that whilst borrowing so much money, 12 billion of which we give away, and unlimited funds for bombing Syria. It is also frustrating that when central government states we cannot afford the social care bill, after giving 12 billion away, that they can, without any consideration to the wealth of the householder pass that bill on to him or her. Just because one lives in a house does not mean there are endless funds available to plug the continual incompetence in financial management. What’s more, what if a householder cannot afford the mandatory increase in his council tax, is there an opt out. The government has one, it is to pass it right down to me. If I ran my household accounts like the government I would be in a debtors prison if they were still here. So the answer is stop giving away what we don’t have, and stop dipping your hands into the pockets of those you haven’t even bothered to ask if they can afford it.

  46. Fladrif
    December 16, 2016

    I know for a fact many older people deliberately get rid of their money not just because “You can’t take it with you”
    Many grown children are given money in hand to buy three-piece suites and other absolutely necessary stuff or indeed the same for the old person himself , carefully keeping the receipt ( with the date )..in fact all receipts..I’ve seen them all time and time again!
    When an Elite in charge of a country , by its actions and in-actions, causes its otherwise law-abiding and patriotic people to turn themselves into liars, scoundrels, cheats, con-artists, thieves then that Elite has voluntarily become its own antonym

  47. ian
    December 16, 2016

    Why not have people budget and a business budget and the taxes that people pay in goes to gov & people budget and businesses to the gov & business budget, it called a level playing field so the people and business can see who is getting what because people have just lost another few billions pound this year again that would of been spend on services like the 3 billion school budget has just lost, that money could or should of gone to social care not just disappear in a puff of smoke.

  48. Mockbeggar
    December 16, 2016

    Surely if ‘bed blockers’ are costing the NHS a lot more than a care home, it would pay the NHS Trust to pay the local authority to take them off its hands? Or am I being naive?

    1. Longinus
      December 16, 2016

      All the state care homes were sold off, closed or re-developed many years ago. Private providers claim they are not paid enough to expand, some are supported by hedge funds.

  49. MPC
    December 16, 2016

    I think the government should commission some comparative studies of provision, showing what ‘health outcomes’ are achieved in other Western countries, including financing arrangements. I understand that health outcomes in some other European nations are superior and there could be a lot for us to learn.

    Such an approach might eventually enable some rational consideration of personal insurance based financing if this is successful elsewhere. Social care could be viewed as amenable to insurance given that, although some people will need considerable social care in later life, others will not, so insurance could pool the risks and costs.

  50. ian
    December 16, 2016

    The headlines today, 50 billion leaving fee about sums the EU up.

  51. The Prangwizard
    December 16, 2016

    Imagining that a solution can be found by modifying the system we have is an exercise in futility. Only a a radical new system will do if such could be proposed and agreed, with a cut-off between old and new. They new system could start for the newborn. But there’s no-one around in our leadership with the courage to see it through. As soon as the going got tough there would be a cave-in. Short-termism will rule again.

    Muddling through.

  52. Dave Andrews
    December 16, 2016

    Another side of the care problem is the people to care; they aren’t available off the shelf. If the children of the elderly don’t want to care for their elderly relatives, then how can anyone else?
    I think it needs a proper study to discover why so many need care from the state, and why the need is increasing, not just suppose it’s because everyone is living longer.
    Could one factor (amongst many others no doubt) be that with the history of broken relationships, more people are reaching old age having been estranged from the families they had, and are thrown upon the state for their care.

  53. Mark
    December 16, 2016

    I would not under usual circumstances post a comment on Mr Redwoods website but today I feel I should. I have previously worked all my life and at no time would I say I received a good salary for my efforts. The cost of care for individuals per annum is quoted as being between £30k and £75k so realistically I would suggest that only high earners can afford any sort of care in later life.
    Decade after decade consecutive governments have mismanaged public finances which has left us where we are now. Public discontent is now at its highest in my lifetime so they rebelled and voted to leave the EU but if you ask the leave voters they would tell you the vote was as much about bad UK government as about the EU.
    Until politicians stop thinking Conservative, thinking Labour or even thinking Liberal Undemocratic nothing will change. Most of the population don’t care which political parties you belong to they care that your opposing policies tear this county apart. It’s time to put the country first and not your party.
    Sorry went a little off course, the reason I don’t usually comment is because I am one of the people most people on this site hate I live off state handouts. I worked for nearly 30 years until my wife became to ill with MS as a result I have spent all our savings,sold our house and now have nothing left . I can’t work because I cannot command a salary to live on and be able to pay for a carer for my wife . So before you hang us all perhaps you may consider that parliament perhaps now could come together and actually discuss solutions that are good for the population rather than themselves or their party.
    Rant over , won’t disturb you again thanks for reading.

    1. hefner
      December 16, 2016

      You perfectly illustrate the difficulties inherent in making much sense of this blog and its contributors. There are a wide variety of readers, from non-dom people who complain daily about IHT to people hardly making ends meet.
      I just hope that Mr Redwood gives as much attention to your as to the others’ contributions.

    2. alan jutson
      December 16, 2016


      I certainly have no problem with people getting benefits and state help for a medical situation which is totally out of your/their control.

      Your case is a perfect example of where the welfare state should help out big time.

    3. Elf
      December 16, 2016

      It does seem from when Osborne was in power that anyone who had savings would be forced to remove them say from Premium Bonds and banks and either spend or try to find some risky asset to bring a return. Osborne lost many a great deal of money including pensioners.Money equals freedom and power. Osborne and Co have made sure people are robbed of both.

    4. Bob
      December 17, 2016


      “I am one of the people most people on this site hate”

      Not true.
      People like you is what the welfare safety net was created for.
      It’s the legions of bludgers that the oprobrium is directed at.

  54. Sick Society
    December 16, 2016

    There are many illnesses and disabilities in the UK. So many people in need of care. Even the carers are in need of care.
    For Christmas, where admin colleagues get used to doing various silly quizzes handed around the office, do a serious but anonymous questionaire:
    Genuine ailments. Do you suffer from
    Asthma, allergies, etc etc
    Other ailments?
    Do you take prescription medicines/drugs/ regularly? How many? How often? Do you suffer from regular untreated backache and other undeclared ailments?

    Perhaps the NHS can research why most of us are ill. Oh they can cut out reasons such as smoking, eating fatty foods, sugar. Heard ’em

  55. John
    December 16, 2016

    If care is free for the Scots why should the English have have to pay for it? Ah yes I forgot, they have their own parliament that can distribute resources to their priorities. The English, however, have to suffer the whim of a British parliament that cares nothing for them as demonstrated on a daily basis. Where does T.M. stand on devolution for the forgotten country?

    1. Dunedin
      December 17, 2016

      @ John – care is not free for Scots. I don’t know whether this myth is a result of lazy journalism or deliberate mischief-making.

      In Scotland, there is a weekly allowance (currently £171 per week) for personal care – this covers services like personal hygiene, toileting, help with some medication and food preparation. Personal allowance is not available in England.

      For people who need nursing care there is an additional nursing allowance (currently £78 per week) – I believe there is an allowance for nursing care in England.

      Otherwise the costs are much the same as in England – prices vary regionally – but £1000 and upwards per week is quite common for nursing homes.

  56. Moses& the full stop
    December 16, 2016

    THIS parliament

    Listening on BBC Parliament”Negotiating Objectives for Brexit, 14 Dec 2016, the Brexit Minister The Rt Hon Mr Davis MP answering a questions broadly around “mobility of Labour/immigration” indicated that it would be an unacceptable outcome for THIS parliament to accept such an agreement.
    It begs the question,-will the Brexit team negotiate merely what is acceptable NOW and, when the coast is clear and the electorate “has slept since then ” state to the EU that agreements which are rather more not in keeping with current hopes and desires are indeed back on the table post Brexit?

    The Minster should be asked whether the Brexit agreements with the EU are going to be written in stone and not on the back of Junkers fag packet to be changed by any new PM and her/his cabinet with just a wink to electoral integrity.

  57. getahead
    December 16, 2016

    National insurance contributions should be sufficient to cover all eventualities, else what is their purpose?

  58. woodsy42
    December 16, 2016

    Three possible solutions:
    1 – The NHS should provide some cheaper non-mainstream hospital beds, such as the old cottage hospitals perhaps, for a few days basic non-specialised recuperative care before people are sent home.
    2- General care must be made much cheaper so as to be affordable. We are told the care costs are only ‘living’ costs not medical ones so for many people why should it be far more expensive to stay in a care home than to stay in a decent hotel? That might mean a reduction in red tape and imposed costs on care homes.
    3 – I saw recently of a residential block somewhere in Northern Europe where OAPs were mixed with student accomodation – students getting reduced rents for spending time with and helping the OAPs and less expensive staffing needed. Both groups found the arrangement worked very well.
    The entire sector is not functioning effectively and needs radical rethinking.

  59. Jacek Nash
    December 16, 2016

    No problem! The 350 pounds per week saved by not giving it to the EU will pay for all..so no worries there..

  60. Monty
    December 17, 2016

    Has anyone ever wondered why it is costing £70K per year for social care of an old person? Surely there is something seriously wrong there. How much of that is paying just for the building in which they are housed, which will ultimately become a handsome windfall for the owner?

    Here is a different model. Imagine a self-funders retirement co-operative. Retirement community, Board of Governors, all electric Bungalows, and you get in by buying a bungalow from the Board. When you pass away, the Board buys it back from your estate, for what you paid to get in, maybe plus inflation. You can’t buy in unless you are retired, and you can’t take on a mortage to move in.

    So that’s all your accommodation taken care of. What’s left to pay for? Services of the staff. Security, property precept(to keep the community solvent), meals service, laundry, cleaning, help with bathing, dressing, toiletting. And if there is any medical or surgical service at all, that should be funded from the NHS budget, and not slipped under the wire of “social care”.
    It’s the start of an idea.

  61. Give us this day Oba
    December 17, 2016

    Obama is on TV every…………………………… day. He’s sidelining Syria. What’s happening in Syria????

  62. sjb
    December 18, 2016

    There is a provision for the NHS to recover the expenses they incur through the failure of Social Services to provide a care package so a pt can be discharged from hospital. However, a Consultant Geriatrician informed me that they do not do because SS told them if they did they would stop funding social care.

    Perhaps a PQ would elicit how much Trusts have recovered from SS nationally.

    If social care became an NHS obligation then it seems to me not only would the NHS be able to free up expensive hospital beds but it would also remove the wasteful time spent by GPs and others having to constantly badger SS to sort out a pt’s home care.

    If we have a cold winter then things might well come to a head sooner rather than later.

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