Social care and the NHS

During the election the Conservatives launched some proposals for paying for social care in the future. These were very unpopular and were rightly withdrawn before people voted. In the correspondence which they generated it was clear some people did not understand the current system, and were surprised to learn that today under a policy approved by all 3 main national parties in office a persons house is sold to pay the bills if they go into a care home unless they are rich enough to pay the bills from other money.

This applied to my parents who sold their home and I saw nothing wrong with the principle. They did not need their home when they went into  care. I had no right to inherit the value of their previous home.

The crucial distinction in UK policy is between health care, which is free, and living costs which individuals remain responsible for all the time  they have income and or capital to pay the bills. In most cases the  distinction is obvious. The elderly person needs a meal or a roof over their heads . That is a living cost. They need medicine or hospital treatment. That is free on the NHS. The distinction is more difficult with assisted living  or social care.


If someone carries on living in their own home they have to pay for various types of social care help, just as the person living in a care home does. They do not, however, have to sell or remortgage their home to do so, nor should they.I am going to be writing more about this topic and welcome thoughts for reform. Good quality social care is crucial to provide support for elderly patients who need help but do not need hospital treatment.


  1. eeyore
    May 28, 2018

    There is a gross injustice in the social care system. A person in residential care who pays for him or herself is charged 20-25% extra to subsidise those the council pays for.

    This is a tax on prudence and honesty and a reward for fecklessness and deceit. It amounts to little less than state mugging of the defenceless elderly. Dealing with it should be government’s first priority.

    1. Lifelogic
      May 28, 2018

      Yet another tax on prudence and honesty and a reward for fecklessness on top of all the very many others. The current tax & benefit system say very clearly “be feckless” or get mugged to pay for the feckless.

    2. Hope
      May 28, 2018

      JR, Your interpretation of where the cost is borne is inaccurate and false. Do EU citizens who arrive here have to sale their homes to get social care or is it provided by the state? Moreover am I paying for social adult care twice in my community charge for them and others and then your Tory govt expect me to sale my home to pay for my own care? This is at least three times I am paying for my care. Is this what May means by fare to all, or does she actually mean the English taxpayer will be forced to pay for all who comes here. You cannot believe a word this nasty underhand woman says.

      1. Lifelogic.
        May 29, 2018

        Exactly similarly if you use private health care, housing or schools. You pay three or even four times. For health once for everyone else, then the extra tax and NI on earning to pay your insurance premium, then the premium and then Hammond sticks a further 12% insurance tax on top.

        A Tax recently increased by a further 20% by Tax to death Hammond. In this way most people end up with no choice buy the second rate state virtual monopolies and endless delays and often total contempt for patients (forced customers).

    3. Know-Dice
      May 29, 2018

      eeyore – Agreed.

  2. David Cockburn
    May 28, 2018

    Under the present system there are two classes of care home residents; those who pay their own way and those whose care is paid for by the council. The council is in a better negotiating position so if you pay your own way you pay a lot more than the council pays on your behalf for the same level of care. Effectively those paid for by the council are being subsidised by those who pay their own way.
    An improvement would be for the council to negotiate on behalf of everyone so that we all ended up paying the same unless we choose to pay for extras.

  3. sm
    May 28, 2018

    Some sensible politicians of all Parties need to come together and start educating the public and the media to accept that society has changed.

    Health and social welfare concerns have altered radically since the days when people were only expected to live long enough to draw their pensions for less than a decade. Therefore, as individuals we must learn to take some considerable responsibility for how we will manage our lives when we are in our 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.

    We need to face up to the fact that a significant number of us will suffer major diseases that might be cured or managed, but at huge expense to the NHS. An increasing number of us will suffer from dementia. Do we continue to avert our eyes from such difficult subjects, or do we grow up and consider whether we want to stay alive at all costs, both financial and emotional?

    As there are an ever-increasing number of individuals who live into considerable old age, there needs to be innovative thinking in the provision of sheltered housing for the elderly, placed within reach of facilities and, hopefully, family and friends.

    And finally, my eternal bugbear and one that hasn’t by responded to by ANY figure of authority since I started asking it 25 years ago: why aren’t there more rehabilitation centres, convalescent homes being provided, call them what you will, for those coming out of hospital? This would alleviate the bed-blocking problem, and just possibly lessen the demand for full-blown care homes.

    1. Peter Wood
      May 29, 2018

      Excellent post. You touch on the most important issues and your suggestion to establish rehabilitation (recovery) centres would make hospitals into the places they should be, to handle the emergency or required intervention only.

    2. TR
      May 29, 2018

      The NHS sold most of their community rehab units providing step-down care from hospital to build those much needed houses in the 1990s. Same as the nursing homes providing cheap accommodation. The NHS has never been far sighted due to continual change required by successive governments.

    3. a-tracy
      May 29, 2018

      Good contribution sm. One we discuss in our family. Even selling my parents home wouldn’t pay for much care, the properties in their area didn’t rise in value like those in London and the South East. Children have two choices use their inheritance to pay for the care of their parents or take their parents into their home and care for them when they can’t manage by themselves.

      As for it’s not fair housing association and council residents get the same care but for free, you’ve been supporting their subsidised housing for their entire lives, you often also get to pay their housing benefits for family homes when they retire, by freeing up their large home when they go into a care home its often cost neutral. Should they stay in the same residence as private paying pensioners is another argument, perhaps the housing association or council housing departments should provide their own care homes as they are the ones who benefit from getting the other home back to re-rent.

      1. a-tracy
        May 29, 2018

        One more point on this John, there are plenty of people who get full housing benefit, single parent mothers, foreigners who become homeless and are looking for work for months on end. Perhaps they should be used to staff the council housing association care homes in return for their housing benefit at the correct rate for a care assistant, doing all jobs from cleaning, to cooking, to aid people to wash their hair etc. People just should not get a free ride all their lives (I know plenty of them), you should encourage collegiate community care for people on these housing projects if they want to continue with a roof over their heads.

  4. alan jutson
    May 28, 2018

    I certainly think the distinction of social care, and so called assisted living when at home needs to be clarified much further.
    Clarification is also needed on what benefits come under the NHS and what needs to be paid for privately, if at all.
    Continuing Care where under the present arrangements the NHS meets all of the costs, also needs to be clarified in far more detail.
    Needless to say all of the above need to come under a Nationwide arrangement, NOT an Area Health Code or Post Code lottery.

    The present system is a complicated mess, and varies massively from area to area.

    I have also had experience with having to seek extensive care for my parents before they passed.

    1. Hope
      May 28, 2018

      I think it might be you that do not properly understand. Your party has broke it word several times on capping social care, have you forgot or pretend not to know? May was caught out at the last election, as is her way to skittle off and do hidden deals. Social housing allows people to live next door in the same house as those with a mortgage, those with a mortgage scrimp and save all their lives to pay it off while their neightbour gets the same for free. At the end the striver has to sell the house to spy for social care to be in the same care home as his neighbour. Worse than communism. EU citizens can roll up at any timer age and get it for free. Fair to all?

      You forget the broken promises made by your party to cap social care costs, not once several times, why? May, as normal, went beyond the broken promises and then falsely claimed nothing had changed! She then back tracked and it rightly cost you an outright win at the election. You also forget how May is perfectly happy for EU citizens to walk in the country at any age of their life and be entitled to the same care home without paying as U.K. Citizens who worked all their life. Cameron promised to stop welfare payments going to EU children who had not set foot here, May recently agreed to continue to pay the same and also children not yet born! We now have to pay NI, add ons in our community charge for adult socialcare and on top you claim after paying g these sums we should sell our house as well! What are the add on sums for in our community charge? EU citizens?

      Then you have local authorities making decisions whether your adult social care is voluntary or compulsory. TheI always try to bend it to be voluntary no matter how bad the condition/illness some have so the individual pays not them. Overwhelmingly they decided with their bank of staff who visit the household it is voluntary even when it is clear people are not able to look after themselves physically or mentally and present a danger to themselves.

      The Tory party has come to tax us several tax times over for the same thing while content to give away hundreds of billions of our taxes each year to foreigners or foreign causes for nothing in return while pretending there is not enough money to be spent on U.K. Citizens. For example, £100 billion EU divorce bill where there’s is no legal liability to pay, EU EDF £3.75 billion over seas aid, UK overseas aid £14 billion and rising and the KitKat policies of the govt through the civil service to HIDE the true cost and extent of EU ties.

      Your party and govt are underhand and have a dishonest streak not witnessed before where you simply cannot believe a word that is says. Before Hunt carries on wany th his false narrative we want to pay more tax for NHS he ought to try to claim the hundreds of millions/ billion back for the NHS, as you rasied before it is improbable that the NHS gives far more to EU countries for health service than it receives from the 27 EU countries for its citizens.

      Why is Goldman Sacs more up beat about the UK economy and forecast than Carney?

  5. Beecee
    May 28, 2018

    My mother received free personal and nursing care whilst living in her own home in Scotland.

    Should be free in England also!

    1. Mark B
      May 28, 2018

      But like the NHS it is NOT free. It is only free at the point of service.

    2. Lifelogic
      May 28, 2018

      No we should be taxed far, far less and then everyone should pay or insure for medical care and life time care! The state is a bent insurance company that takes the premiums of the 50% who are net contributors than pays nearly all off the benefits out to the 50% who do not contribute any premiums (in net terms). So the feckless grow in number and the prudent diminish or leave.

      This is heart is the problem. Bad government as usual.

      1. Lifelogic
        May 28, 2018

        The wrong incentives for people and a lack of any moral hazard for those who choose to be feckless. This produces what we have loads of people wanting a free ride, paid for by a diminishing band net tax payers. We are at the point where increasing tax rates still further will reduce overall tax take and make things even worse. Hammond & May have not worked this out. They are killing the economy with absurd tax rates and absurdly tax complexity.

      2. Anonymous
        May 28, 2018

        Lifelogic. The £2000 tax will do it for me. (£4000 in reality for the 50% who pay tax)

        There will be utterly no point in me taking on the responsibilities I have and working the stupid-o-clock shifts I do.

        I will quit, take my pension and flip burgers.

        1. Lifelogic.
          May 29, 2018

          Indeed endless incentives for the feckless and disincentives for the prudent. That is May, Hunt and Hammond for you. This while pathetic virtue signaling on gender pay drivel, green crap and kicking Brexit voters in the teeth yet again just like Cameron.

    3. Sir Joe Soap
      May 28, 2018

      Yes, criterion number 1 should be regulatory equivalence across the Union!

    4. Dennis
      May 28, 2018

      Beecee -I wonder if this is possible because the population of Scotland is very small and its income sufficiently large (can this be?) to pay for a small number of aged people.

      1. TR
        May 29, 2018

        Scottish care is paid for by English due to generous Barnett formula?

      2. Know-Dice
        May 29, 2018


        It’s down to Barnett, each and every person living in Scotland gets an extra £1600? per annum put in to the Scottish pot from central government.

      3. JoolsB
        May 29, 2018

        It’s because they receive far more money per head from the UK Government plus they have their own Government making decisions in the interests of Scotland and it’s elderly unlike England which has no one standing up for it’s interests and where the UK Government gives them far less per head slashing every budget it can to the bone, especially social care. Whilst Hammond can’t cut English services fast enough, he managed to find an EXTRA £4 billion in the budget for Scotland, Wales & NI.

        We English are nothing more than a milch cow for the benefit of the rest of the UK and world.

    5. mancunius
      May 28, 2018

      ‘Free’ to her, perhaps, and to yourself: and you were then presumably able to inherit the assets she protected, with the taxpayer picking up the cost.
      Think for a moment about whether that is fair or not. Why would any taxpayer agree to finance somebody else’s private asset inheritance, any more than they would agree to pay for their car or jewellery or cruises?
      It smacks of wanting to socialise personal living costs yet protect private assets that should be realized to meet those costs.
      Inheritance is not a universal right, any more than home ownership can be a universal right.
      (Leaving aside the implications of who pays for ‘free’ stuff in Scotland…:-)

      1. mancunius
        May 28, 2018

        I meant to write “Inheritance of a parental home is not a universal right”

    6. Hope
      May 28, 2018

      JR needs to explain why we had a whopping 5.6 community charge hike allegedly because adult social care is one of the largest budgets, plus the add on for social adult care and then expected to sale our homes as well!

      Why are we paying three times, please explain JR? If I have to sale my home for my care is one thing then explain why I am paying twice through tax as well? Secondly, explain why welfare pay,ends made to EU citizens not living here or set foot here and not yet born are entitled to our taxes. May has agreed to this. EU students receive free university tuition in some of our best universities, explain if May has enough of our taxes to throw wastefully around the EU at their citizens who do not live here and the world why she is unable to look after U.K. Citizens particularly the English.

      1. TR
        May 29, 2018

        Teresa May hates the English, once you understand this it all makes sense.

      2. Cheshire Girl
        May 29, 2018


        And are we still paying Child Benefits for children in Poland, whose parents are living and working in the UK. If so, that should be stopped, in my opinion.

  6. agricola
    May 28, 2018

    I do not follow or support your argument. Old age is an illness brought about by the deterioration of the body and mind. If you are arguing that food should be paid for by the patient within the NHS and social care system, I would concede that you have a valid point.

    However, why should your parents and many others who saved throughout their lives and supported the early lives of their children be forced to sell their assets to pay for care in old age. If they choose to it is a different matter, but forced to , absolutely not. Those that didn’t make your parents choice , but preferred multiple holidays, multiple births, frequent visits to the betting shop and pub, get it free under your logic because they have no assets..

    Care under the NHS and care for the elderly are inextricably linked and should be paid out of taxation. Government immediately reach for an increase in taxation, wrong. The NHS should be administered much more professionally, so saving millions, and government should cease indulging in tape cutting projects of no proven financial value such as HS2, windmills, and atomic power plants over which we have no financial control. If government got on with Brexit and reaped the reward of not handing £12 Billion to the EU each year there would be cash to cover elderly care.

  7. Mark B
    May 28, 2018

    Good morning

    A very complicated an emotional issue.

    I wish to raise the matter of paying for other people’s care via the council tax. I gave always believed that the council tax was used for services we either use or, could use if we so wished. Paying for other people’s social care by such means when, as a home owner, I too will be expected to sell my home to pay for it. So who is it therefore I am subsidising and, from past experience of dealing, rather unhappily, with social care via councils is it I am paying ? You see, many of these care providers are private and not worth the money they charge. Having government extort monies from me via council tax is a recipe for disaster as these private companies now have a good cash cow. I believe that it is high time that the tax payer was protected from these sharks.

    1. Mark B
      May 28, 2018

      On topic. Short. No names. No links. But held in moderation.

      I should change my name to Life Logic or Denis Cooper.


    2. hefner
      May 28, 2018

      “many of these care providers are private and not worth the money they charge”. I fully agree with the second part of that sentence. Regarding the first part, the problem is not that they are private companies, it is that they are poorly regulated and, for example, can increase their prices annually with no reference whatsoever to increase in CPI/RPI usually from prices already far exceeding their actual costs in buildings, services and staff.
      It is unfortunately the same basic story with private child care. Private is not the problem. The problem is the very poor qualification of some of the staff attending the children, and the rather systematic increase in price as soon as there is a change in child benefit.

      1. Spratt
        May 29, 2018

        In reality they can only increase their charges to the resident who is funding their own care. Trying to get a cost of living increase out of social services or NHS is very, very difficult for care providers. That is why, in homes for the elderly, the self-funding residents have taken the hit year on year and caused the problem of subsidy alluded to above. The resentment this causes is compounded when – as in my local area – a significant proportion of those receiving council funding have self-evidently never paid anything at all into the national insurance or income tax system. In homes for younger disabled adults, there is much less scope for subsidy by self-funders because very few of these people have assets, so it becomes common for care homes to cut corners with staffing levels or to try to charge relatives for items that should have been integral to the care package.
        The whole area is a mess, laden with gross inequities and perverse incentives. There is no quick fix but a thorough national inquiry needs to be a starting point.

        1. hefner
          May 30, 2018


  8. Anonymous
    May 28, 2018

    In care homes your parents may well have been paying weighted fees to cover the bills for poorer residents. A stealth tax.

    Children may well have provided years of care for their parents by the time things get critical and do not deserve this tax.

    1. hefner
      May 28, 2018

      An interesting article from the FT 07/03/2016 “Financing for UK care home industry is completely unsuitable”
      A number of residential care homes are parts of companies in fine held by UK or foreign private equity. And these are unfortunately only there for the money.

      1. Anonymous
        May 29, 2018

        I have no problem with care homes making profit. Where they are obliged to take state supported occupants the funds should come from central taxation and not from other residents.

  9. Sakara Gold
    May 28, 2018

    “From the cradle to the grave” Tax the immigrants to pay for social care for our seniors. They have done their bit.

  10. Bryan Harris
    May 28, 2018

    Social care is something we are not good at – our attitude is one of allowing the elderly to waste away and die.
    As a society, we encourage people to live their own lives without engagement with the local community…. 1. we should provide the infrastructure, close to facilities, where people with need can be treated/ helped / whatever…. 2. care of others should be a part of our role in life, rather than expecting the government to do it all – but still governments have failed to provide a lead in this, and clearly lack joined up thinking on how to manage people with needs.
    Let’s start experimenting, FGS, with different ideas instead of just wringing our hands.

  11. Bryan Harris
    May 28, 2018

    The NHS takes on far too much, and this is one of the reasons it is in trouble… More needs to be done to stop people having problems that need extensive treatment….. and certainly we should get over the problems of allowing people to die when life becomes unbearable.
    So, let’s move after care and special needs care to community centres, while the NHS cuts back on what it offers for the rest of us….that needs a proper review, to cut out things like fertility treatment, for example.
    The NHS could be further helped by encouraging large companies to take on the health support for its employees…

    1. hefner
      May 28, 2018

      Large companies already have health plans for their employees as part of the pay package and some even have a “contract” with independent hospitals, which means that the only cost to the NHS is the initial visit for the NHS doctor to refer the patient to these independent hospitals.

      1. Bryan Harris
        May 29, 2018

        Exactly – and in expanding this for more companies and for all medical issues and taking them totally out of the NHS would mean much less pressure on the NHS ….But we still have to see the NHS refocus on its primary reasons for its existance

  12. hefner
    May 28, 2018

    Although I agree with the overall idea of the system (selling house to pay for care home) I question the price asked by the UK care homes. In the Reading-Wokingham area one cannot find any such home for anything less than £800/week and the recently built homes with availability can charge up to £1400/week.
    Having recently been to France visiting an elderly relative with dementia and requiring medical care in a residential home, I was surprised to learn her direct family was charged slightly less than €3000/month for what looked to me an environment as pleasant as what is available over here.

  13. JoolsB
    May 28, 2018

    Could you please tell me why personal care for the elderly is free in Scotland? Oh of course, the Scots Government with their generous hand outs of English taxpayers’ money make their own decisions, as do the Welsh & the NI. So although you fail to mention it John, you are no doubt only talking about taking away the houses of those who happen to live in England. And no doubt this punitive measure will only apply to the thrifty. Obviously those on benefits and those who live in social housing will have theirs paid for them.

    Here’s an idea. Why not use some of the ludicrous £20 billion arbitrary aid budget instead and stop picking on England’s pensioners, not to mention their young and their sick. Is there any party that cares about the unfair and discriminatory way in which UK Governments are treating England’s young and elderly because the Tory party, there by the grace of England, have proved they don’t give a toss about England except at election time of course.

    The sooner England stops voting for the anti-English Con/Lab/Lib parties and gets a party that is willing to stand up for it against the rotten deals it gets the better.

  14. Lifelogic
    May 28, 2018

    Basically Hunt (and May) want very active anti-male discrimination in the work place. This is after all the only way you will get a zero male female pay gap. This as we know the different work like balance choices the genders in general make.

    Doing this would clearly make the NHS even more dire than it is, by destroying further sensible incentives for some important staff.

    In some areas this anti-male discrimination would have to be massive to achieve a zero pay gap. Many of the men would probably sensibly walk out and become self employed or leave that profession in disgust. Moral in the NHS is very low indeed due to the incompetent financial and incentive structures and appalling management.

  15. A.Sedgwick
    May 28, 2018

    The right to die should be an option.

    1. Dave Andrews
      May 28, 2018

      Only in Grantchester

      “And when they get to feeling old,
      They up and shoot themselves, I’m told”

      Rupert Brooke

      1. Lifelogic.
        May 29, 2018

        Probably now they just freeze to death due to expensive green crap energy prices and huge over taxation. Or they fall down the stairs, because they cannot get their cataract, knee, hip, heart, back ….. operations in a timely manner. The ones they paid tax and NI for for 60 years or so.

  16. Dave Andrews
    May 28, 2018

    Here’s an idea. How about an insurance policy you can take out at any time of your life, that will pay out to care homes if you develop a long term condition such as Parkinson’s or dementia?
    Currently, I have to gamble whether to amass a war chest in the event it’s needed, or take my chances on budget care after my money has all run out, or hope that I die in my sleep after a short illness at a ripe old age.
    Can anyone tell me why you can buy insurance for trivial things like a carpet, but not for the potentially crippling costs of long term care?

    1. hefner
      May 28, 2018

      These exist: look for “how to fund your long-term care-a beginner’s guide”. I don’t want to give more details but some well known insurance companies have been proposing this type of products for years.

    2. Lifelogic.
      May 29, 2018

      Not easy and you are deterred by a 12% insurance tax and the usual problems where insurance companies try to riddle out of things with small print and definitions of medical conditions.

      Figures suggest that about 58% of men and 79% of women aged 65 and older would need long-term care at some point, and that average lengths for care were 2.2 years for men and 3.7 years for women. They also estimated that 38% of men and 63% of women will require care for one year or longer, while 11% of men and 28% of women will need care for at least 5 years. So for most it is not that much of a financial problem especially for men. But a few, mainly women, do end up paying a fortune for many years.

      They will soon manage to train robots to do the caring to cut costs, plus I am generally in favour of living wills and voluntary euthanasia.

  17. John Finn
    May 28, 2018

    During the election the Conservatives launched some proposals for paying for social care in the future. These were very unpopular and were rightly withdrawn before people voted.

    Theresa May’s proposals were poorly formed and rushed but they were, at least partly, on the right track. Basically, she proposed a ‘floor’ of around £100k below which no-one would need to pay anything while the 3 party consensus was looking at a ‘ceiling’ or cap on the amount any individual was required to pay. The cap works favourably for those with plenty of assets but not so well for those owning more modest properties. For example, a 75k cap is’t much use to someone who owns a 2 bedroom property in Burnley.

    At the time, I did cobble together a formula which incorporated both a ‘cap’ and a ‘floor’ . This ‘floor’ protected most of the assets of the less wealthy (as per the May proposal) while the cap represented a percentage (e..g. 40%) of assets above the ‘floor’ which protected a decent proportion of the assets of the better off.

  18. Lifelogic
    May 28, 2018

    Meanwhile we have two thirds of health trusts are denying patients cataract surgery. Perhaps they think if they fall down the stairs or similar it will save them on long term care and the cataract surgery? But Hunt is far more worried about gender pay virtue signalling and implementing anti-male discrimination it seems. Such are Oxford PPE grads and Geography ones. Zero understanding of logic and statistics it seems.

  19. DUNCAN
    May 28, 2018

    Italy is the real issue of the day not another debate about the NHS and social care

    The EU’s direct intervention in Italy’s democracy is nothing short of an act of political warfare

    Juncker’s rejection of the will of the Italian people is a crossing of the Rubicon moment

    We must stand up and confront the fascistic EU

  20. nhsgp
    May 28, 2018

    Since we’ve paid for it, the state should honour its side of the deal.

    Given that some people get it for free and others, largely those who have contributed the most, and lost the most, in the millions do not shows its just a fraud

  21. Sir Joe Soap
    May 28, 2018

    Well, there is a fine distinction then between those needing say blood dialysis on an ongoing basis to make living possible (paid by taxation) and those needing assistance with cooking etc. (through immobility) to make living possible on an ongoing basis (self-paid) or having to enter a permanent care home (self-paid and house could be sold).

    Any decisions here are really dancing on the head of a pin, and perhaps the best solution is to abandon the fallacy of NI and offer a proper independent insurance system paid from say age 35 on, to cover all these costs. There would be a rebate from state taxes for those opting out of the random state system.

    1. a-tracy
      May 29, 2018

      You can’t opt out of the ‘random state system’ that is what pays for the other 50%. If you ‘opt out’ direct taxation would increase massively to pay for it anyway, extra VAT, extra taxes to breathe, extra taxes to drive to work, extra taxes on food – oh wait!!

  22. Adam
    May 28, 2018

    Conservative voters’ objection to the manifesto was possibly more against unfairness than its high cost.

    Reckless people can waste all money & have no assets, or even debts exceeding 10 years income, but still, be housed in a care home free of charge.

    The prudent person may have invested in their family home to support their offspring, but the state forces them to sell it to pay for the reckless too in the beds on both sides.

    Voters need intelligent Govt. Idiocy repels.

  23. bigneil
    May 28, 2018

    What about when young East Europeans come here to take a low paid job, qualifies for benefits as well ( not paying tax ), getting NHS free and their kids schooling, and then brings dementia ridden grandparents over to be put in care homes at our expense? Not one of them paid anything in, all of them costing us. But that is what govts are for – -throwing away money so they look good on the World stage, while sticking 40% of the digits of one hand up to the people who have their money thrown away.

    1. Andy
      May 28, 2018

      Your I s one of the most ridiculously ill-informed comments on a blog which specialises in ill-informed comments.

      According to the ONS just 85,000 EU citizens aged over 65 live in the UK. One of the largest EU pensioner populations comes from Italy – because of high levels of migration from Italy in the 60s and 70s. These people have been here years and have paid as much into the system of you have.

      As for the number of Eastern European pensioners here – it is so small it is barley measureable. You can read these actual facts for yourself if you like rather than relying on irrational ranting if you choose.

      1. Edward2
        May 29, 2018

        However every year the millions of new arrivals that have come here since 2000 get older and will probably, like you Andy, need care in old age.
        Your answer is to let in more new arrivals to look after them.

      2. hefner
        May 29, 2018


      3. a-tracy
        May 29, 2018

        Andy – can we legislate currently that EU citizens that haven’t lived here for 39 years + at retirement age can’t get care home covered by the UK state, if we don’t do this currently we should, no one will mind because as you say it isn’t an issue and it will make bigneil and others feel much more confident in the benefits system.

  24. Wessexboy
    May 28, 2018

    Before families became so fragmented geographically, it would have been normal to provide much of what passes for social care within the family. Since this is now much more difficult we must either pay as individuals, or agree that the state is responsible for our family members.
    Those of us who prefer a small state and freedom of the individual will be happy to do without state help in such areas. However, deciding exactly what constitutes healthcare as opposed to social care in old age is a minefield….

  25. Anonymous
    May 28, 2018

    4000 quid would be most people’s disposable income gone.

    Such tax would crash the wider economy. Bye bye high street AND recreation.

    1. Anonymous
      May 28, 2018

      On the premise that only 50% of workers pay tax and those that do will have to pay £2000 x2.

  26. Richard1
    May 28, 2018

    On this subject why in Earth is Simon Stevens the NHS chief civil servant engaging in a political campaign over spending levels? I heard Norman Lamb MP state (approvingly) that Mr Stevens is now the 4th most powerful person in the country due to his ability to use his position to influence policy. If that’s the case he should be elected and accountable to taxpayers? We often hear how ministers mustn’t blame civil servants but always take the blame themselves for anything that goes wrong. The other side of that coin needs to be that civil servants don’t engage in political campaigns, they should just do their best to implement the policies of the elected government.

    The same should apply to the head of HMRC who has made an absurd intervention on the costs of customs. These people are getting far too big for their boots. It’s a sign of weak leadership and too much government.

    1. Richard1
      May 28, 2018

      ‘on’ Earth

    2. a-tracy
      May 29, 2018

      I agree with you Richard1 on the power of a single person that is unelected and not chosen by those paying their wages. As customers, we have no alternative choice but their service. We can’t hold him or her to account for the poor staff planning, the poor staff training, using too many agencies. Not tying people to the organisation whose expensive training you’ve paid for without a buyout clause.

    3. Lifelogic.
      May 29, 2018

      Simon Stevens seems to be a fairly dreadful manager to me, but then running the NHS as currently structured, with free at the point of rationing, delays, endless litigation and general incompetence cannot be easy. Especially with incompetent politicians using it as a political football. It is the envy of no one sensible. It kills more people every week than Grenville but nothing happens.

  27. Barry Hughes
    May 28, 2018

    I take your point on much of this, particularly on domestic as opposed to medical costs, but would that it were so simple. Why for instance are those in care required to meet the ‘hotel’ costs while those in hospiral ar not

    In practice, the revenue from the home-owner is effectivately confiscated by the state and goes into the nursing home’s kitty where it funds those inmates who owned no home. Thus it becomes simply a hidden tax on age and discriminates between those who bought their home and, say, council house tenants who have already received a considerable state subsidy.

    Further, even if the home owner dies after only a month of care, the cash balance remaining — which can be substantial — is never returned to their estate. It goes into general funding of the home and subsidises those who had no home of their own.

    There is anecdotal evidence in my part of the world of social services, faced with a hole in the budget, looking around for a suitable patient, in possession of a suitable home, to take into care simply to grab the house.

    The essential question is thus — at what point did the nation’s stock of private housing become the property of the state to disburse as it thinks fit?

  28. Geoff not Hoon
    May 28, 2018

    My location in a small village in Snowdonia may not be the same as the rest of the UK but here half the employed locals are carer’s dashing from one home to another. Almost all here would say that the time their employers allow/pay for each visit is wholly inadequate.
    The morning visit is no more than seeing the folk are up and about and if the carer asks making tea. Those with greater needs are either not catered for or friends/relatives carry out the other tasks.

  29. Bob
    May 28, 2018

    I hear that LAs charge double to self funders in order to fund the ones that can’t pay.

    1. hefner
      May 29, 2018

      Strictly speaking it is not true. Whoever is to go to a retirement care home has to go through both a medical and a financial assessments.
      The medical assessment is to define what medical care is likely to be required for your medical needs. That will be covered by the NHS at no cost to you.
      The financial assessment (by what seems to be an external company?) looks at all your assets (savings, investments, insurances, properties, …) and will be passed to the local authority. The following steps may depend on your LA. In the Reading-Wokingham area, my understanding is that, first, the financial assessment is used to define your direct contribution, possibly up to 100% of the living costs, and second, if it is lower than 100%, the LA will eventually (after some weeks/months) pay directly to the RCH the rest of your living costs (with back-dated payments from your day of entry).
      So strictly speaking everybody is charged the same price. Who actually pays and what fraction of the costs is where the difference stands.

  30. Narrow Shoulders
    May 28, 2018

    As ever you explain it better than the spin doctors in your party, however you still have not identified why those who save or who invest in their property should pay for this service and those who have not (for various reasons but some of these people will have been living in subsidised housing all their lives) should still get it for free on the taxpayer.

    I assume that EU citizens including those recently granted passports are entitled to pitch up here and demand equal treatment.

    There needs to be a way of covering this through insurance for those who do not have assets or cash during their working lives. Those who have assets could also choose to take out such insurance.

    My employers offers medical insurance to me (which ridiculously attracts tax), I would look favourably on an employer who included social care insurance in their package. Could this be a voluntary additional element in employers NI?

  31. fedupsoutherner
    May 28, 2018

    My mother received carers allowance and incapacity benefit before she died. She died at home. She paid for her carers that she needed out of her benefits and thought that was right and proper. That is what the payment is for. Unfortunately, different areas of the country operate different systems and some people find it hard to get the benefits they need in the first place. Post code lottery is definitely very healthy in England and as BeeCee says, free in Scotland. The Barnet formula is not working. Scotland has a clear advantage over young people and pensioners alike and it is the English footing the bill. If people need care in the home then surely they must be ill enough to receive carers allowance etc and then can pay towards the care they need. It is certainly cheaper to do this than to put many of them into homes where they really do not want to go.

  32. Alexandra
    May 28, 2018

    I am in the process of selling my mothers house. She went into a care home 3 weeks ago at the age of 92. The financial assessment came through with her contributions and I was astonished to see that as she has savings of more than £14200 but less than the threshold of £23,250, there is a tariff income of £1 for every £250 she holds between these sums. She will never make £25 per week in interest! The whole system needs a major overhaul, she is now having to use her savings to pay for hairdresser, some personal items as the £30 per week she is left with does not cover her personal care needs costs.

  33. NorthbyEast
    May 28, 2018

    The big question is how are we going to cope with the return of the old retirees from Spain and France when all of these negotiations go wrong? They are going to need housing and NHS care..we should be also planning for this as well

    1. Andy
      May 28, 2018

      Remember when EU citizens come here to work they are ‘migrants’ who are a drain on the state.

      When UK citizens go there to retire they are ‘ex-pats’ who provide a boost to the economy.

      So say Brexit voters.

    2. Edward2
      May 29, 2018

      Do you really think Spain and France will forceably eject UK citizens after we leave the EU?
      Project fear fantasy.

    3. a-tracy
      May 29, 2018

      We get rebilled for them anyway NorthbyEast

  34. Unfair to English
    May 28, 2018

    You had every right to inherit your parents’ house when they went into a home. Otherwise, those people who waste their money throughout their lives benefit greatly at the expense of those who are more family-oriented and want to help their families along in life.

    The system as at today is disgracefully unfair, without even considering how much The English have a bad deal compared to the Welsh and Scots.

    I agree with almost all you post here, but in this instance you are sadly very wrong!!

  35. rose
    May 28, 2018

    I think what has so upset people is the knowledge that they might have their house taken and their savings, in order not just to pay for their own care, but to subsidise people who didn’t make the same sacrifices in earlier life, because the councils aren’t paying the full amount for these people.

  36. Denis Cooper
    May 28, 2018

    Off-topic, Paul Goodman was spot on with this a week ago:

    “Boiling the Brexiteer frog”

    and a prime example of that came up yesterday during the Andrew Marr programme, when Jacob Rees-Mogg referred to a short passage buried in Theresa May’s Mansion House speech of March 2nd which he said that he regretted, but which I would more forthrightly condemn as selling the pass.

    This is what she said:

    “We have been clear all along that we don’t want to go back to a hard border in Ireland. We have ruled out any physical infrastructure at the border, or any related checks and controls.

    But it is not good enough to say, ‘We won’t introduce a hard border; if the EU forces Ireland to do it, that’s down to them’. We chose to leave; we have a responsibility to help find a solution.”

    Whose side is she on?

    Why is she rehearsing one of the EU’s arguments for them?

    Where in Article 50 – the exit clause that was introduced into the EU treaties through the Lisbon Treaty which the EU insisted on having, even forcing the Irish to hold a repeat referendum on it, after the French and the Dutch had rejected almost the same legal contents in the earlier form of the EU Constitution – where in that article, or indeed anywhere else in the EU treaties, does it say that a member state which has decided to withdraw from the Union has a responsibility to help the Union to sort out any problems which the Union may experience as a consequence of that withdrawal?

    Nowhere, and nor should it, and nor should our Prime Minister have effectively taken the side of the EU by suggesting that it does, with consequences we can now see.

    Anyway, notwithstanding that folly, or treachery, on the part of Theresa May, here is the letter that I have sent to her local newspaper, the Maidenhead Advertiser:

    “Dear Sir

    In 2016 goods worth just £2.4 billion were exported from Northern Ireland to the Irish Republic.

    In the context of GDP of £1936 billion that export trade was economically insignificant for the UK; moreover not all of those goods had to be, or were, taken across the land border.

    Yet our government has got itself into such a tangle that reportedly it has offered to keep the whole of the UK, and 100% of our economy, under EU law in perpetuity for the sake of that 0.1% of UK GDP which crosses the land border into the Republic.

    Apparently the government cannot ask itself the basic question:

    “Why should leaving the EU require us to make any changes at the Irish border?”.

    It is nothing to do with the movement of persons, which will still be covered by the Common Travel Area arrangements we have had with Ireland since 1923.

    It is only to do with the movement of goods, which has been completely unhindered at the border for the past quarter century, since the advent of the EU single market. Not, be it noted, since the advent of the customs union two decades earlier.

    So why should we start to inspect goods as they come in across the border from the Irish Republic after we have left the EU when we feel no need to do that now?

    The Republic is not leaving the EU, so will still be in its single market and subject to EU laws, so what would create a new, pressing need for us to reinstate border checks?

    There is no need for the UK to change anything at the border, not even to collect any applicable import tariffs which could be done away from the border.

    If there is any Irish “problem” it is a problem for the Irish and the EU, not for the UK, and our government should cease to allow the world to think otherwise.

    Yours etc”

    1. Hope
      May 28, 2018

      This was pointed out by me and many others Dennis. However, she does say have a responsibility to help find a solution. This does not mean it is solely the UK problem as she is now interpreting it. It means the EU has a responsibility as well. However, she caved in on this during subsequent capitulations. It is now a UK problem by saying if a solution cannot be found regulatory alignment will apply whether there is a deal or not. Therefore it is clear to me her treacherous incremental steps were intended to keep the UK in the single market by another name and she intends to keep the UK in the customs union as well. The Irish border was a strong hand for the UK, as you highlight front he treaties, in negotiations May has allowed it to become a weak one by her appalling decisions and the central point for timing the UK o the EU forever!

      Question: what was Davis doing during this ridiculous episode and what is his role? It seems to me he has no purpose other than a spokesperson for the capitulation. Fox has no role either. Both were sold pups for jobs and have not used their hand wisely if at all.

  37. Denis Cooper
    May 28, 2018


    “Nicola Sturgeon attacks ‘mad Brexiteers’ after meeting Michel Barnier”

    Schedule 5 to the Scotland Act 1998, on “reserved matters”:

    “International relations, including relations with territories outside the United Kingdom, the European Union (and their institutions) and other international organisations, regulation of international trade, and international development assistance and co-operation are reserved matters.”

    1. Denis Cooper
      May 28, 2018


      God quit you in his mercy! Hear your sentence.
      You have conspired against our royal person,
      Join’d with an enemy proclaim’d and from his coffers
      Received the golden earnest of our death;
      Wherein you would have sold your king to slaughter,
      His princes and his peers to servitude,
      His subjects to oppression and contempt
      And his whole kingdom into desolation.
      Touching our person seek we no revenge;
      But we our kingdom’s safety must so tender,
      Whose ruin you have sought, that to her laws
      We do deliver you. Get you therefore hence,
      Poor miserable wretches, to your death:
      The taste whereof, God of his mercy give
      You patience to endure, and true repentance
      Of all your dear offences! Bear them hence.

      1. Hope
        May 28, 2018

        Everything to do with the EU is a UK competence not devolved power. Why has May allowed all to visit the opposition negotiator. Utterly contemptible. May is not even disguising her actions to keep the UK in the EU by another name. The leave MPs sit, watch, moan and do nothing.

        I ask again, what is Davis doing and what has he done to prevent any of this? He appears to me to serve no purpose, he achieved nothing and should be thoroughly embarrassed by the situation. Does he just like the kudos fo the position?

        1. alan jutson
          May 29, 2018


          Like you I have no idea what David Davis is actually doing, but do remember that he is working under May’s instructions, as best he can, I would guess he is fighting a constant battle behind the scenes, in the knowledge that if he were to resign then a remainer would be put in his place.
          Thus I guess he is even more frustrated than you or I in trying to work with someone who does not really have a clue as to what she really wants or any vision of anything else other than EU light.

          1. rose
            May 29, 2018

            It looks to me as if he was marginalised like Boris and Fox after the disastrous election and defenestration of Nick Timothy. He has been replaced by a civil servant in the negotiations. It is only since then that the pace of capitulation and concession has taken off.

  38. NigelE
    May 28, 2018

    Where the distinction is most difficult is with metal incapacities such as dementia. The incapacity is caused by an illness and hence would appear to be the responsibility of the NHS except that the major part of the ‘treatment’ is care with living: washing, dressing, eating and ensuring general care for harm. If the illness is physical – a broken leg, say – the NHS leads with free care & support. If the illness is metal, social services lead with means tested care for older people but largely free care for younger vulnerable children or adults. If – as with my 97-year old father-in-law the ‘illness’ is general physical frailty (but good metal capability), social services do not want to be involved and the responsibility (and cost) devolved to the family.

    The system evolved – I do not think is was ever designed – to deal with the out-of-date requirements in existence before we all started to live much longer. Everyone agrees it needs to be fixed by no one agrees how to do it.

    Tinkering with the current system would be largely a waste of time & money. A major change to the current system would probably be met with public and political resistance and media howls of derision for a quick headline.

    The only way forward is to seek general recognition that the individual needs to contribute directly to their costs of old age, mostly likely through personal insurance. This should be started for those under 50 immediately; and be compulsory. For us older individuals, we might be offered a way into the insurance scheme, or we can accept we will have to face the current mess. Over time, the new system would displace the old.

    I am neutral as to whether the insurance scheme should be placed in private hands or run by the govt. In truth, my faith in either parties is not great. But any govt fund must be fully funded and hold real assets like the Norwegian Sovereign Fund not like our own National Insurance fund which is a ponzi scheme.

    However – and whenever (I’m not holding my breathe) – this might happen, it will need cross party support and excellent communications. The experience of the proposal put forward by the Tories at the last election shows what happens when something is launched with little thought or the prerequisite consensus.

    Hope this helps, and best of luck with this one.

  39. mancunius
    May 28, 2018

    John, is there not a reason why so many of your fellow Conservative MPs are or have been financially involved in the care home business? It has proved very lucrative, as long as there has been a stream of immigrants to fill low-paid carer positions.
    So really, stemming immigration would reduce the hitherto risk-free proft margins of these private companies, would it not?

    1. Eh?
      May 28, 2018

      Low-paid carers earn and earned more than I ever earned. As do nurses. It will do them good and work in the increasingly private German Health Service. There they may marry well and have enough to eat. They dream of marrying a doctor.

  40. Stephen Priest
    May 28, 2018

    We have just spent 5 years looking after my mother in law in her own home. Sadly, she died in April aged 94.

    My mother and father in law originally went into a care home in Wokingham in 2011 and they sold their house to pay for the care home. It cost nearly £2000 a week combined. The care home never really worked even though it was brand new. The food was terrible, even though it was about the only thing to look forward to. They still had enough money to buy a flat in Wokingham in 2013.

    Unfortunately my father in law died that same year. He had been at Dunkirk, North Africa, Normandy, Belgium, the Netherlands and northern German, where he met my mother in law, who was German.

    Looking after my mother in law ourselves gave her a much better quality of life than she could have ever got in the care home. We had some care funded by Wokingham Borough Council.

    In my experience everything should be done to keep the elderly at home and not send them to care homes. Incentives should be give in for families to pool their property resources, with specially adapted ground floor rooms where possible for the old person. More bungalows need to be built on small plots. In 2011, the hospital would not let my father in law home because there were stairs in the house. This is why we had to move them to a care home in the first place and sell their house to pay for it.

    It would be better an cheaper to have extra visits from carers for the elderly at home than pay for them to work in care homes.

  41. Andy
    May 28, 2018

    Many of the people who work in the care industry are migrants.

    They often come from the EU and earn low wages.

    The value of their earnings has dropped 15% following the Brexit vote.

    It is not worth them coming here anymore. They’ll go to Germany instead.

    Britons largely do not want care work – which is demanding and poorly paid.

    The government – in its wisdom – only wants highly paid migrants.

    In other words there is a coming staffing crisis in care.

    The people who will be most affected are today’s pensioners.

    People in their late 60s and 70s who largely voted for Brexit.

    They, literally, voted to have no one to care for them in old age.

    Shame – but at least the people who voted for it will largely be the ones who suffer.

    1. Edward2
      May 28, 2018

      The value of their earnings has not dropped 15% that is ridiculous.
      They come here and are paid in pounds which they spend here in the UK.

      You keep saying immigrants will return home yet statistics show the opposite.

      You keep saying that all the 17.4 million voters for leaving the EU were 60 plus.
      That is not correct.

      I’m all in favour of political debate but get your facts right.

      1. Andy
        May 29, 2018

        I don’t say all 17.4m Brexit voters were pensioners. I don’t say all pensioners were Brexit voters.

        However, Brexit voters tend to be older, poorer, more reliant on the state and less well educated. This has been shown time and again by research and is demonstrably true.

        How amusing it will be when those Brexit voters find they are the ones who do worst out of Brexit.

        1. Edward2
          May 29, 2018

          It is odd that remainers like yourself are only focussing on trade and predictions of individual future wealth.
          Ideas of nationhood and independence seems to be of no worth to you.
          I’m pleased you had no defence if your ridiculous 15% claim nor your claim of EU immigrants returning home when data shows many more arriving.
          What is so wrong about being older or less well off Or reliant on the State?
          I expect you elite educated types would like to disenfranchise them.

    2. Worker
      May 28, 2018

      Care work is not poorly paid

    3. a-tracy
      May 29, 2018

      Andy where are your ‘facts and figures’ from?
      In the NorthWest there aren’t a majority of foreign care workers?
      In some areas, we read the makeup of the area is many more foreign residents 50/50 so they would have 50/50 split of workers in each job type, no?
      Compared to other lower-skilled jobs there is no pay differential
      Many workers in care get lots of job satisfaction

  42. They Work for Us?
    May 28, 2018

    Mr Redwood I see you are pursuing “if the old have money, let us take it off them to pay for their care and also that of the profligate as well as the poor”

    Please remember that the assets of an ordinary Joe (not a bloated plutocrat) are savings on money on which income tax and NI have already been paid. The Financial Services Industry has ensured that returns on Savings are low and of course the taxman has taken his cut on even those low returns. Then of course there is inflation, largely due to Govt overspending which has further eaten any savings away. The old, when they were young, paid for the old in their time in good faith.

    Wether you have savings or assets in a property is a lifestyle choice because like many you could enjoy a more lavish lifestyle and holidays so that when you reach the need for care the cupboard for the state is bare.

    A fair system for those that have savings and assets would be a twofold cap.

    1. A limit on the amount that anyone should pay for their care out of their own resources, say £100,ooo, after that the state pays via general taxation. The Dilnott report had something like this. Obviously normal living costs equivalent to the level of the State Pension would continue to be chargeable.

    2. A limit below which savings could not fall due to payment for care, say £100,000 so that something could be passed onto your children.

    Otherwise the advice to future genarations must be to spend it all and leave nothing for the state to plunder. Any money you have now is worth more than it will ever be in the future so spend now.

    Could we have some Conservative policies rather than the spread of Socialism to bring everyone DOIWN to the lowest common level.

    returTHose savings have normaly produced low yield from income over the years that that has alreadyhas ehm

    Reply I am just describing the current system!

    1. KZB
      May 29, 2018

      To be fair lots in London and the SE have seen vast wealth increases due to ridiculous house price inflation. This is unearned wealth, it’s just being in the right place at the right time.

      I would support a graduated house equity tax to fund social care. Not a cap where you pay 100% up to £100,000 and nothing thereafter. That favours London once again. No, pay a certain percentage, so you pay more as the unearned property equity increases.

  43. Monty
    May 28, 2018

    I would be in favour of retirement communities, in which owner occupiers purchase a bungalow in a purpose designed development. It would enable carers to attend to their patients on a door to door basis, much more efficient than driving for miles in between each home visit. Residents would pay for care only, ie no rent and they would pay their own council tax and utility bills. They would also pay on an as needs basis for social care services, such as meals, cleaning, bathing, You’d need an overall board of trustees to keep the thing private only and retired only. Families of an occupant would have an asset to realise upon the death of the owner.
    Most importantly, residents would have the freedom of their own home, they wouldn’t be inmates in someone else’s institution. The carers would be the visitors. And the scope for profiteering would be much reduced when there is no rental in the monthly charges.

  44. hefner
    May 28, 2018

    In the present system, if one is unlucky enough to require a care home for a large number of years, it is possible that all their assets could be used to pay for the residential care home expenses, leaving the heirs a maximum of £23,350.

    1. graham1946
      May 29, 2018

      Yes, but in the last GE the government were going to make the £23,350 up to £100,00, but for some reason the voters thought the current £23,350 was a better deal. Probably because Corbyn and Co called it a dementia tax and they didn’t look any further.

    2. rose
      May 29, 2018

      What is the position when there is still a spouse living in the house?

  45. KZB
    May 29, 2018

    I too think it is a disgrace that the system rewards fecklessness. Also, I think people who have worked for it have a right to pass on some wealth to their offspring. Otherwise what is the point of it all.

    Point 2, I’d like to point out dementia is an illness. Youngish people can get it too. Alzheimers was a rare disease only a few decades ago. Something funny is going on.

    Point 3, life expectancy is beginning to decline. I fully expect this to continue given how overweight everyone is. The people currently in God’s waiting room are the war generation, who, up to 1957, had optimum diets worked out by experts.

    1. Lifelogic.
      May 29, 2018

      I am not sure that they had optimum expert diets, but there was less food about and they ate less and had far less refined and industrial food.

      Eat and drink less and eat only when rather hungry seems a good plan to me.

      1. KZB
        May 30, 2018

        Whatever the reason, that generation will turn out to have a longer lifespan than the generations following. It’s already trebles all round in the pensions industry after they saw the latest statistics on longevity showing a downturn.
        Also your years of HEALTHY life have barely increased at all. By 65, the old pension age, the average person will have at least one life-limiting medical condition. So we are expecting people to carry on at work till 68 with serious medical conditions.

  46. Iain Gill
    May 29, 2018

    I dont agree with all the mass cross subsidy introduced by politicians.

    If there are needy people give them MONEY, dont rig the markets. And pay for it with money taxed normally as tax, not hidden costs added onto other peoples purchases like inflated house costs to pay for social housing subsidy, and so on.

    And I do not agree with taking anyones prime house off them ever. Especially when it is a house which has largely been refurbished from a shell or built by the hard work of the whole family (including those who stand to inherit) , and is not simply a financial investment.

    The incentives in the system should be to do the right thing, and support those who have done so.

    The current system, and ideas from the political class, are the worst of all worlds. We need to ENCOURAGE saving, and building equity. We need to make it worthwhile working including taking account of all the perks of being on benefits like free school meals and all the rest of it.

    The whole system needs a radical simplification as it already costs far too much to administer, rip the admin cost down significantly by making things simpler and pass the savings onto the public.

    Deary me isnt this obvious?

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