Since the Tories launched their woeful manifesto for the 2017 election, focus has been primarily on their highly controversially proposed ‘dementia tax’. In a nutshell, the Tories were planning on forcing families to take out insurance to cover social care, with the elderly relatives home used as the collateral. You could keep £100,000 of the properties value after the care recipient had died but you would face an uncapped bill for care (incl uncapped fees from the insurance sellers). Effectively, the Tories were proposing a system through which you sign over your home to underwrite your care and when you die, regardless of the costs incurred for care, the insurance provider could dream up any figure to charge you for “fees” for the insurance and would take all but £100,000 of the value of the home. It is likely that some small print could well have cost you all or some of that £100,000 too, given the way the insurance industry seems to work.
Naturally, people very rapidly figured out part of what the Dementia Tax represented and began asking awkward questions. Looks like Theresa May, in her typically weak and wobbly way, will already be U-turning (has anyone been keeping track of the number of ties May has been forced into a U-turn?). The Tories are reportedly going to announce a cap on how much people will be liable for.
If the Tories announce their new cap we will know several things.
- There was no costing surrounding the Dementia Tax in the first place and it was always the exact opposite of Labour’s proposed ‘Robin Hood Tax’ that will target the City to pay for social care. A Dick Turpin Tax?
- The Tories are prepared to swiftly change the appearance of the Dementia Tax because they want to replace government provision for social care with private insurance, that is their priority. The British public’s contribution will be on a sliding scale that will, inevitably, rise on the personal level and drop on the government spending (taxpayer). Social care is to become a gold rush for insurers and the Tories will use tax payers’ money to subsidise the system into existence.
- Just as with NHS dentistry, once social care provision has been privatised, we will be one step closer to the NHS being privatised and the British public forced into a US style Health Insurance market.
That is the bottom line. It is the Tory intention to replace government spending with private insurance for care, starting with social care but leading to health care. It will lead to a US situation where, far from saving taxpayers’ money, it will force many to pay far more, for all most all to receive less care and for many to receive none at all. All so that the system can be profitised. Instead of just paying wages for care providers or covering the costs incurred for providing care homes, an additional cost of care will be introduced in the form of insurance and the profits of insurance companies who provide nothing towards care.