Paying for care in old age

So the Conservative manifesto is out and now we know their plans for dealing with car in our old age. Of course, the Labour cretins are already spouting that they’re penalising defenceless pensioners and are going to risk killing a few off…

Let’s look at the simple one first – the winter fuel payment. Every year each pensioner household gets a coupe of hundred quid towords their energy bills. I general spend it on a case of decent wine, but I digress. Labour say that abolishing it will hit the worse off and pensioners will die because they can’t afford to heat their homes.

This is patent scare mongering from McDoughnut and co. The Tories are not intending to take it away from the poorest people because they’re going to means test it. So people like me won’t get it and I’ll have to buy a case less of decent wine at Christmas or fund it myself. To me – and I suspect many other in my financial position – it’s sensible. for the poorest pensioners, it’ll not effect them. More Project Fear from Labour!

Now let’s look at care costs and what’s proposed. At the moment people who are looked after in residential homes must pay for their care if they are judged to have assets worth more than £23,250 and those assets include their property.

Under the new scheme, they will be assessed to get a picture of their finances and if their combined savings and property are valued at more than £100,000, they will need to pay for their care. If they want to hang on to their home, they can defer payment. The state will deduct the cost from their estate when they die.

So on the face of it, instead of selling your home to fund care you’ll get to keep it until you die. Those in residential homes currently pay when they have assets of £23,250 and that will rise to £100,000 so it’s hard to see how this can be spun as leaving them in a worse position however hard the other parties may try.

What’s labour’s solution to addressing pensioners paying for their care? Well, I studied the manifesto. On page 54, it bangs on a lot about what it calls ‘dignity for pensioners’ yet strangely there is no mention of care costs. If I’ve missed it, please tell me where it is.

It’s a knotty problem, but as far as I can see the Conservatives are at least talking about it and putting forward a plan. Labour just seem to be ignoring and accepting the status quo, whilst at the same time slagging of the Conservatives. Predictable really…


8 responses to “Paying for care in old age

  1. Stonyground

    How did we get into a position where we are giving government handouts to people who don’t need them in the first place? Surely the welfare system was brought in to take care of people who would otherwise find themselves destitute.

    • That’s how it should work.
      Personally, I have no problem with means testing provided it’s done thoroughly and properly. Trouble is that people lie about what they’ve got. Then again, it’s better than nothing…

  2. Rather than means testing for the winter fuel payment, why not remove its tax free codition? The poorest, on basic O.A. pension won’t be affected. Won’t bring as much for the treasury but it removes some hastle.

  3. The problem with paying for care in your old age coming from savings etc is you end up paying twice. I was always under the impression that the vast amounts of Tax and NI I have paid over the years was supposed to go towards this sort of thing. If I had never worked and just scrounged off the state all my life, I will be looked after buck-shee in my old age. How can this be right??

  4. I thought the Lib/Dems had the correct formula, because it seems they too are of the same view on this topic.

    Those who pay tax at 40% or above would no longer qualify.


    • In all likelihood, I suspect that’s exactly how it will work.
      It could also be clawed back when you submit your tax return?

  5. Here’s an interesting update on the Winter Fuel Allowance :

    John McDonnell has admitted he claims the winter fuel allowance – despite having an income of nearly £100,000 a year.
    Mr McDonnell also suggested it was ‘fair’ that millionaires such as Rolling Stone Sir Mick Jagger were entitled to the handout.
    The comments came as Labour railed at the Tory policy of means testing the winter fuel allowance.