Social care crisis
Social care crisis

A blog by Sam Mathieson. 


Like most families, mine has a personal interest in how social care is provided. So we waited, and waited, and waited for Boris Johnson to unveil the plan that two years ago he said was fully worked out. ‘Oven-ready’ you might say.

Now we can finally see the details. And it’s not good news if you are young or a typical worker. In essence ordinary people are paying to protect the inheritances of the wealthy.

The money will be raised using National Insurance. A tax on wages. Unlike other taxes the rate drops dramatically for higher earners. 

 A private landlord owning and renting out multiple properties won’t pay a penny more in tax, yet their hard-working tenants – working for a living – will be hit hard.

Amazon has just reported an additional £1.9 billion of sales – but will pay only £3.8 million more in corporation tax with much of their profits diverted to Luxembourg. A tax rate of a minuscule 0.002%.

I’m not a career politician but I do understand something about politics. And I know it’s about choices. The Conservatives have chosen to place nearly all of the costs onto one group in society: ordinary people like you and me.

Then there’s the promise that you won’t have to sell your home to fund your care. That is if you happen to have £86,000 hanging about in cash which is the cap on your contribution. Not including food and lodging of course, that’s extra.

Suppose you do own a home and you need to fund that £86,000. Then it depends where you live as to how much of your home is needed to fund that £86,000 because house prices vary across the country.

A Soham resident who needs care after this comes into force pays 33% of the value of their home, Almost double the proportion as someone living in Boris Johnson’s constituency. Oh and that’s per person so a couple here in Soham might pay two-thirds the value of their home.  Again, remember this is excluding the cost of food and lodging.

OK, so I may not like the way the Government intends to raise the money but will it fix the problem?  No it won’t.

There’s nothing new for the millions who provide unpaid care. Often working 24/7 to do their best for loved ones.

There’s nothing for the staff in social care on minimum wages. And the low pay is a big reason why there are over 100,000 vacancies as staff leave for better paid jobs.

The two big reasons people are refused care are the means test and the needs test. The proposals may change the means test but doesn’t help you if your local council decides your needs aren’t severe enough. And as Councils are cash-strapped this has become a bigger and bigger issue. And nothing in the Tories’ plan changes that.

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