Many people save all their life, put money into their house, partly to live in it and partly for financial security, and when they die they hope that their savings are passed on to their children. Well that's how it often works. There are others who rent rather than buy their house but even if you own your house there are many pitfalls in life which stop you working hard and passing on your savings to next of kin. One of the pitfalls is that ill health may result in the need for a place in an expensive care home, and this often happens later in life when most of the saving has been done.
There are some who would say that the rainy day has arrived and those savings should pay for that care. Others would say that those in need of care have already paid through state contributions. The reality is somewhere in between these views. At the moment there is a savings threshold of £23,250 below which the state pays for care and this will become £123,000. The other figure mentioned by the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is a cap of £75,000 which will limit the amount that has to be paid for care.
The more important figure for me is the £123,000 which is a huge increase and will benefit many by allowing savings to go where they were intended to go. The £75k may be irrelevant to those who live in large areas of Morecambe. Even if they own their own home it may not be worth more than £75,000. On the other hand there are some very rich people around for whom the cap is insignificant.
There is a huge incentive to avoid putting savings into a home. We are told that 'at present, up to 40,000 people every year are forced into selling their homes because they face unlimited care bills'. Well it's not quite unlimited because of the £23,250 threshold. This is an important step in helping those who are less well off to avoid selling their homes. This sort of story is common now and was common under the Labour government.
And the reason for this blog? Labour's response was that the country needed "a far bigger and bolder response". It sounds like it is easy to be in opposition. Just say the government is not doing its job regardless of how well it is acting. It's just a pity Labour do not appreciate the improvement that has been made, or if they do then they don't show it.
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