Sunday, 4 October 2009

Tories devise a worse home protection scheme

It is now the C0nservatives' turn for dishing out policy to their members. I did mention Gordon's announcements last week as he pushed policy onto the members. How would I like policy to be announced? That's easy. Let the members debate the pros and cons and then vote.

The first news that I have heard from the Tories is about financing residential care for the elderly without having to sell their homes. This is obviously good news because headlines are made when people sell their houses to pay for such homes. Well look a bit more at the Tory policy and I am afraid that it is fairly easy to pick holes in it. I will keep my comments brief.

A one-off charge of £8 000 will ensure free care in a home. This is based on the average use of a home of around two years and a cost of £52 000. There is one big difference between this rather crude insurance and those on offer at the moment. Presently the costs depend on age and health. If you have a chronic illness then you may need a care home for longer than two years and you are more likely to take up the Tory offer. If you are in good health then you are more likely to take a risk and not pay the £8k.

For those people with savings of less than £23 000 then they will not take up this safety net because they already have one and will already get free care. Of course the problem with safety nets is poverty traps. The people with £31k will not spend £8k because it will mean they fall into the second net. How much can they fritter away before they are pulled up about it? Can they go on nice holidays or buy a nice painting?

The real problem is the mess caused by the recession and the global economy, because we should be following the Scottish example. As in Scotland we should have a safety net of care homes without proviso and we should have no university tuition fees. I was thinking prior to these conferences that the only hope for a continued Labour government in Westminster is to back these options. Now we have a Conservative option which is useful for the rich, not the poor, and it is a scheme which is not as good as those we have at the moment.

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  1. as a country..we should take care of our Elders. My parents would have to "lose" parts of their savings to qualify....but they have both worked very themsleves a better standard of living.....why should they abandon it?My worry is when there is only one of my parents left, will they be able to cope alone? who really knows?My parents are both staunch Labour supporters....but because they have saved ....tried to gain a better standard of living...they might fall into the gap

  2. Have you noticed the link between this policy and the poll tax? Neither are related to ability to pay. The rich have two choices. Either this insurance doesn't matter to them and they don't pay, or they can pay it out of petty cash. For the poor the £8000 could be impossible to pay.