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How do we pay ?

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Well it seems the political time bomb of elderly social care has finally exploded, and the gravity of the situation, despite all the growing warnings, has hit the politicians.  So, in a system, ravaged by austerity, how will we pay to keep a clear conscience, that we are doing the right thing for Granddad and Grandma ?  The Government's initial response is to load Local Government with the responsibility as the provider of social services; and allow them to increase Council Tax charges; BUT - as local rates are based on property values, this will mean a distorted tax take throughout the Country.  The wealthier areas of London and the S/East will be able to afford higher tax-takes than the rest of the Country, despite any attempt to balance funding out with the Barnet Formula. So the PM's declared intent to Govern "for all the people" and help "the left behind", would seem to fall at the first hurdle.  The option of charging individuals for elderly care, by forcing them to sell their main asset, their house; would at first glance appear reasonable, but alas unfair; certainly to families who will see their long awaited inheritance disappear;  and for those who have no assets, or who will quickly realise they have to transfer their assets to family, before becoming a social liability; so where should the funding come from ?   In a Country, indeed a World, where wealth has gravitated to a smaller and smaller percentage of super-rich;  increased taxation of the rich would seem the only option, BUT with the apparent inability of HMRC to gather in this bounty, will HMG be able (assuming the political will), of redistributing this wealth to pay for social care ?

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Yes Sid, that's how it is at the moment; but with such things as "the minimum wage" costs are increasing, and the elephant in the room is the explosion in demand as folk live longer, but not necessarily in good health.  The idea of "home care", is imo, an attempt to do things on the cheap; but I think it can be more expensive and inefficient in the long run, with private care firms flying round in cars from one house to the next, with 15 minutes to make a cuppa and bang a ready meal into a micro-wave. I recall my Dad asking for poached egg on toast, and the girl asked "how do you do that?"; so there's a question mark over training. But we still have the question of fairness:  if someone has paid a mortgage and owns a house, should that be forfeit, when someone else may have nothing, in which case it costs them nothing?  The idea of places like Ryfields, was to principally cater for elderly needs at one site, allowing social services to concentrate their efforts, but it costs money. The question is, how can it be paid for in a way that is fair and efficient ? Not forgetting of course, that lack of provision means a back up into the NHS, in the form of bed blocking, which affects everyone.

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The idea that a person is no worse off not working or paying into the system is hardly likely to encourage strivers of the future who otherwise would be proud to do the right thing.

 

It is for this reason that the benefit system needs to be honed down to pay the benefits it was originally intended to do ,namely pensions, the genuinely unemployed & for the genuine sick in our society. There are too many freeloaders getting a piece of the cake.

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According to Sids link, only 4 in 10 people pay for their own care in Warrington which means 6 in 10 get it for nothing, which means that the council will bang up the costs to the 40% that have to pay in order to subsidise those that they have to look after... for the price that the council and some private nursing homes charge for a week, you could stay in the Hilton Hotel in Manchester and negotiate a better deal.... add to that someone on minimum wage to clean your bottom every few hours and you are onto a winner :)

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Warrington Borough Council fell upon that option of taking on responsibility for adult social care in return for being able to charge extra council tax like a tramp on hot chips, as with all their financial jinks, I really hope they're as smart as they think they are.   

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