Labour ?

Regarding the social care proposal, I don't think calling it a "dementia tax" is very helpful. My mother lived to 97. She didn't have dementia but for the last few years she needed more help than I could provide so she moved into a care home. The vast majority of people who live to advanced old age will need some kind of support whether they have dementia or not, and it will need to be paid for. My mother's house was sold to fund her care and I was absolutely fine with that - it was her needs and her money. I put no money into that house and had no right to expect the state to contribute to "preserve my inheritance". An inheritance is what's left over after someone's lifetime needs have been met and £100,000 allowance seems a more than generous way of meeting people's wish to pass something on to their children, especially since the children of  very old people will mostly be in their 50s or older and should have sorted themselves out by then.

As we all (hopefully) live longer the need for social care will increase and it will have to be paid for. For those with assets they should pay for themselves, and the state should provide care for those who can't afford it. The best way to fund this is surely by taxing people after they and their partner are both dead. My only reservation about this is how it is going to be implemented and how loopholes can be plugged. I would prefer a massive increase in death duties but that is probably politically impossible and lacks the hypothecation element of the current proposals. 

As a natural Labour supporter , I am dismayed by the Party's negative reaction. There should be scope for a cross party consensus on this issue.

Crikey. It comes to something when UKIP label a policy as "nasty", which is what they done with the Tory care proposals today.  UKIP are the experts on "nasty"!

Media now labelling the announcement of including a cap in the consultation as a U-turn. Had to see it any other way. TM looked rattled at her press conference this morning. And TM labelling Corbyn's criticism of her policy as "fake claims" is just too Trump-like for comfort. Surely she doesn't want to be associated with Trump's handling of challenge?  

Pev posted:

Regarding the social care proposal, I don't think calling it a "dementia tax" is very helpful. My mother lived to 97. She didn't have dementia but for the last few years she needed more help than I could provide so she moved into a care home. The vast majority of people who live to advanced old age will need some kind of support whether they have dementia or not, and it will need to be paid for. My mother's house was sold to fund her care and I was absolutely fine with that - it was her needs and her money. I put no money into that house and had no right to expect the state to contribute to "preserve my inheritance". An inheritance is what's left over after someone's lifetime needs have been met and £100,000 allowance seems a more than generous way of meeting people's wish to pass something on to their children, especially since the children of  very old people will mostly be in their 50s or older and should have sorted themselves out by then.

As we all (hopefully) live longer the need for social care will increase and it will have to be paid for. For those with assets they should pay for themselves, and the state should provide care for those who can't afford it. The best way to fund this is surely by taxing people after they and their partner are both dead. My only reservation about this is how it is going to be implemented and how loopholes can be plugged. I would prefer a massive increase in death duties but that is probably politically impossible and lacks the hypothecation element of the current proposals. 

As a natural Labour supporter , I am dismayed by the Party's negative reaction. There should be scope for a cross party consensus on this issue.

Well, Pev. Your mum had a good innings, though I know it must have been difficult at the end.  But early onset dementia affects thousands of people in their forties and fifties, when the progression is much more rapid and the effects awful.   

Pev posted:

Regarding the social care proposal, I don't think calling it a "dementia tax" is very helpful. My mother lived to 97. She didn't have dementia but for the last few years she needed more help than I could provide so she moved into a care home. The vast majority of people who live to advanced old age will need some kind of support whether they have dementia or not, and it will need to be paid for. My mother's house was sold to fund her care and I was absolutely fine with that - it was her needs and her money. I put no money into that house and had no right to expect the state to contribute to "preserve my inheritance". An inheritance is what's left over after someone's lifetime needs have been met and £100,000 allowance seems a more than generous way of meeting people's wish to pass something on to their children, especially since the children of  very old people will mostly be in their 50s or older and should have sorted themselves out by then.

So pev ... would you support a much reduced IHT limit (say the £100,000 you say is a reasonable inheritance.  Perhaps a 60% tax of everything above £100k, 85% tax for inheritance above £1m?

The unfairness (IMO) is that there is it's down to luck basically over if you need social care or not.  Everyone should pay a contribution to societies costs.

Hungryhalibut posted:

May has bottled it, and will consult on a cap. The Tories really were a bit dim on this, but what's to be expected from a leader who doesn't even know what's in her party's own manifesto? The idea just wasn't thought through. 

But has she done a U-turn because she realises it's an unfair policy, or is the U-turn simply because she is loosing support?  A governement should be doing what they believe is right , not just what's popular.

As much as I disagree with Thatchers policies, I would suggest for the most part she pushed them through because she felt they were best for the country.  The more May acts the more I feel she is just aiming to consolidate power.

Eloise posted:

So pev ... would you support a much reduced IHT limit (say the £100,000 you say is a reasonable inheritance.  Perhaps a 60% tax of everything above £100k, 85% tax for inheritance above £1m?

The unfairness (IMO) is that there is it's down to luck basically over if you need social care or not.  Everyone should pay a contribution to societies costs.

Yes I would - the figures you suggest seem reasonable to me. If we need to raise more for public services, and I believe we do, then who better to tax than dead people?

What a shame May seems to be turning back from this proposal - anything that UKIP hates must have some merit!

 

Hungryhalibut posted:

May has bottled it, and will consult on a cap. The Tories really were a bit dim on this, but what's to be expected from a leader who doesn't even know what's in her party's own manifesto? The idea just wasn't thought through. 

Nigel - not sure I would agree on the 'bottled it' bit. I think the Tory's primary issue is setting down only outline plans (question begs as to why they needed to vent it at all), with the gaps/outlines allowing for extremis interpretations to be thrown out there, with usual negative and aggressive sound-biting (witness Angela Rayner on QT last week on the fuel allowance). I agree that someone needs to start thinking about the Tory's face to the people.

They've got themselves in a hole and must stop digging (IMV one of the challenges is that Mrs May doesn't dig well - she lacks the verbal fluency of Cameron which is far from reassuring). And offering up the likes of BJ (proven to have been inaccurate on Brexit aspects), doesn't help them.

I think we all recognise this is her election to lose and she's having a good go at achieving this - which is very worrying from my perspective i.e. allowing Labour to get the keys to the Treasury and whether Mrs May, if the Tories win, has the gravitas and capability to be PM.

I fear a key aspect in all this is that the elderly home-owning voters who voted for Brexit, will now go 'Little Britain' again, and not face the reality of economic life for the elderly in the UK moving forward (as Pev has outlined).

Social care funding  is such a major issue that however it is resolved it is bound to upset a proportion of the population. Only the state has been willing (and for a time large enough) to accept some form of risk pooling - insurance companies won't go near it for social care. Assuming that you don't want to increase taxes, then, as far as I can see, the only viable alternative is for individuals to accept responsibility and the costs where they have the resources. I'm sure that most would like to pass on the maximum inheritance and have social care funded by the state, without paying extra taxes but its not going to happen. If you also accept that over recent years there has been a significant transfer of wealth from younger generations to the elderly then using potential inheritances makes sense as it avoids increasing taxation across the working population (especially the young) and reducing further inter-generational wealth transfer. If it was easy  then it would have been sorted by now

BN

I'd agree that capping care costs but increasing inheritance tax is a fairer way to go. Why should someone who has very expensive cancer (say) treatment get it on the NHS while someone with dementia has to pay with their house? The whole issue of paying for the impact of an ageing population needs to be reviewed thoroughly and a consensus reached, and cannot be fixed with knee jerk suggestions in election manifestos. 

Hungryhalibut posted:

I'd agree that capping care costs but increasing inheritance tax is a fairer way to go. Why should someone who has very expensive cancer (say) treatment get it on the NHS while someone with dementia has to pay with their house? The whole issue of paying for the impact of an ageing population needs to be reviewed thoroughly and a consensus reached, and cannot be fixed with knee jerk suggestions in election manifestos. 

Well said ... 

Hungryhalibut posted:

I'd agree that capping care costs but increasing inheritance tax is a fairer way to go. Why should someone who has very expensive cancer (say) treatment get it on the NHS while someone with dementia has to pay with their house? The whole issue of paying for the impact of an ageing population needs to be reviewed thoroughly and a consensus reached, and cannot be fixed with knee jerk suggestions in election manifestos. 

I think that the answer to that is that the dementia sufferer will get their health/medical care  (however limited or effective) via the NHS but will be paying for the social care bit.  Likewise for the cancer patient - I assume that they would pay for social care if needed. It doesn't make it right but that is how I think it works. The boundary between social and health care can get very blurred.

BN

Bertie Norman posted:

I think that the answer to that is that the dementia sufferer will get their health/medical care  (however limited or effective) via the NHS but will be paying for the social care bit.  Likewise for the cancer patient - I assume that they would pay for social care if needed. It doesn't make it right but that is how I think it works. The boundary between social and health care can get very blurred.

You're right it is very blurred ... is it health care or social care when people can't remember to feed themselves?

Hungryhalibut posted:

I'd agree that capping care costs but increasing inheritance tax is a fairer way to go. Why should someone who has very expensive cancer (say) treatment get it on the NHS while someone with dementia has to pay with their house? 

Tell me about it;  myself & brothers started caring for our Mum with her dementia about 6 years ago,  over time that then required to include  professional help.  2.5 years ago we had to find a place in an assisted care home & then in the last 12 months to a full nursing care home.  Fortunately long ago we had bought her house between us,  but even so we (she) still payed 75% of her care costs up to the time she was moved to full nursing care,  now its fully covered,  minus all but £25 of her pension.

I'm a bit bemused by the intergenerational fairness claim. Instead of everyone chipping in via tax & NI, the policy is to effectively largely disinherit younger people one family at a time, and leave older people financially unaffected but probably emotionally wounded within their lifetimes. At a time when there's widespread public support for a hypothecated NHS tax. And I suspect that younger people are less inclined than older people to be of a 'never tax me' mindset, and more likely to accept taxes if it means there are some public services left by the time they need them. People 40-odd and under are known to generally be to the left of older people, after all.

Far from strong & stable, it sounds like a confused, hasty policy produced by decidedly wobbly thinking. The only reason I can see for the way they've said they want to do it, as opposed to something obviously fairer like HH's suggestion, is that fairness isn't the point, it's a borderline irrational aversion to tax. That, and making sure that private provision without state intervention is maintained.

May trying to claim today that there's been no u-turn is just disingenuous rubbish.

Eloise posted:
Bertie Norman posted:

I think that the answer to that is that the dementia sufferer will get their health/medical care  (however limited or effective) via the NHS but will be paying for the social care bit.  Likewise for the cancer patient - I assume that they would pay for social care if needed. It doesn't make it right but that is how I think it works. The boundary between social and health care can get very blurred.

You're right it is very blurred ... is it health care or social care when people can't remember to feed themselves?

This is where joint funding and Continuing Health Care come in. What I was getting at is that cancer care can be hugely expensive and compare with the cost of home care over several years. So it's effectively down to chance whether you have to pay or not. There are no easy answers, that's for sure. 

wenger2015 posted:

The other side of the coin, if you have never worked, don't wish to work and play the benefits system, you end up getting everything for free....?  

I don't know how many of these stereotypical benefit scroungers there are, but I don't imagine there are many, as living on benefits is not a great life. 

Hungryhalibut posted:
wenger2015 posted:

The other side of the coin, if you have never worked, don't wish to work and play the benefits system, you end up getting everything for free....?  

I don't know how many of these stereotypical benefit scroungers there are, but I don't imagine there are many, as living on benefits is not a great life. 

Figures from 2014 state 20 million plus, what it is now, I don't know but I don't expect it's changed that much... 

Hungryhalibut posted:
wenger2015 posted:

The other side of the coin, if you have never worked, don't wish to work and play the benefits system, you end up getting everything for free....?  

I don't know how many of these stereotypical benefit scroungers there are, but I don't imagine there are many, as living on benefits is not a great life. 

You have perhaps had a sheltered life then Nigel.  Whilst there is no where near as many as the Tory press would make out there are still plenty of people around who have never worked, for whatever reason, and are never likely to.  I spent my first twenty six years on a 'rough' estate and know lots of people, some of whom I like very much, who play the system very well and will never work a day in their life.  They know exactly what they are 'entitled' to and they make sure that they get it.  It all depends what your aspirations are and how you define a great life I guess. 

wenger2015 posted:
Hungryhalibut posted:
wenger2015 posted:

The other side of the coin, if you have never worked, don't wish to work and play the benefits system, you end up getting everything for free....?  

I don't know how many of these stereotypical benefit scroungers there are, but I don't imagine there are many, as living on benefits is not a great life. 

Figures from 2014 state 20 million plus, what it is now, I don't know but I don't expect it's changed that much... 

Shall we have some facts...

http://visual.ons.gov.uk/welfare-spending/

Around 35% of all government spending is on the "welfare" budget.  That (in 2014/15 equated to £258bn)

The largest potion - £108bn or 42% was on pensions.  And £41bn (16%) on Incapacity, disability & injury benefits.  Now the latter you can argue about ... but for the sake of this discussion lets consider those as being benefits for people who are unable to work.

After pensions; the next biggest portion if the £44bn (17%) for Family benefits, income support & tax credits.  These for the most part are given to people who work but are on low pay.  A large portion of the £27bn (10%) which goes on Housing Benefits are also given to those who work but are on low pay.

The smallest part of the pot £3bn (slightly more than 1%) is for unemployment benefit.  Yes some of the Housing Benefits go to unemployed people ... but as a percentage the "benefit scroungers" make up a fraction of what is spent.  From the same source 760,000 people claim jobseekers allowance in the period.  Rather different from 20million claimed by wenger.

Yes there are some people who would rather not work ... but they are a very small number!

Dave***t posted:

I'm a bit bemused by the intergenerational fairness claim. Instead of everyone chipping in via tax & NI, the policy is to effectively largely disinherit younger people one family at a time, and leave older people financially unaffected but probably emotionally wounded within their lifetimes. At a time when there's widespread public support for a hypothecated NHS tax. And I suspect that younger people are less inclined than older people to be of a 'never tax me' mindset, and more likely to accept taxes if it means there are some public services left by the time they need them. People 40-odd and under are known to generally be to the left of older people, after all.

Far from strong & stable, it sounds like a confused, hasty policy produced by decidedly wobbly thinking. The only reason I can see for the way they've said they want to do it, as opposed to something obviously fairer like HH's suggestion, is that fairness isn't the point, it's a borderline irrational aversion to tax. That, and making sure that private provision without state intervention is maintained.

May trying to claim today that there's been no u-turn is just disingenuous rubbish.

The intergenerational fairness bit works as follows:

People live longer - when they pass assets to children, the children are very likey to be in their 60s. (Parents have children in their 20s and die in their 80s). This does nothing for the 20-40 year olds - they on average don't get anything until they are in their 60s.  The 20-40s are paying through taxation to support (some) asset rich pensioners. Incidentally if you increase taxation rates this affects pensioners too - either through income or consumption taxes.  There is also the issue of how property prices have risen, leaving a section of the population sitting on huge gains that won't be taxed unless inheritance tax thresholds are exceeded.

There is a debate to be had about how much personal responsibility there should be and how much the state should support indivduals. Clearly there has to be support for the less fortunate members of society.

BN

Eloise posted:
wenger2015 posted:
Hungryhalibut posted:
wenger2015 posted:

The other side of the coin, if you have never worked, don't wish to work and play the benefits system, you end up getting everything for free....?  

I don't know how many of these stereotypical benefit scroungers there are, but I don't imagine there are many, as living on benefits is not a great life. 

Figures from 2014 state 20 million plus, what it is now, I don't know but I don't expect it's changed that much... 

Shall we have some facts...

http://visual.ons.gov.uk/welfare-spending/

Around 35% of all government spending is on the "welfare" budget.  That (in 2014/15 equated to £258bn)

The largest potion - £108bn or 42% was on pensions.  And £41bn (16%) on Incapacity, disability & injury benefits.  Now the latter you can argue about ... but for the sake of this discussion lets consider those as being benefits for people who are unable to work.

After pensions; the next biggest portion if the £44bn (17%) for Family benefits, income support & tax credits.  These for the most part are given to people who work but are on low pay.  A large portion of the £27bn (10%) which goes on Housing Benefits are also given to those who work but are on low pay.

The smallest part of the pot £3bn (slightly more than 1%) is for unemployment benefit.  Yes some of the Housing Benefits go to unemployed people ... but as a percentage the "benefit scroungers" make up a fraction of what is spent.  From the same source 760,000 people claim jobseekers allowance in the period.  Rather different from 20million claimed by wenger.

Yes there are some people who would rather not work ... but they are a very small number!

As I read it,  the 20 million plus included all who have a dependence on benefits ,whatever category they happen to be in, because essentially it doesn't matter, they will not be able to pay for any care costs or anything else for that matter 

wenger2015 posted:

As I read it,  the 20 million plus included all who have a dependence on benefits ,whatever category they happen to be in, because essentially it doesn't matter, they will not be able to pay for any care costs or anything else for that matter 

20 million families (64% of the population) is the number of people who receive any kind of benefit - that includes pensioners; those who can't work through illness and disability as well as those getting in work benefits even if that's just Child Benefit. 

Most of those 20 million hardly fit your description of "have never worked, don't wish to work and play the benefits system". 

Eloise posted:
wenger2015 posted:

As I read it,  the 20 million plus included all who have a dependence on benefits ,whatever category they happen to be in, because essentially it doesn't matter, they will not be able to pay for any care costs or anything else for that matter 

20 million families (64% of the population) is the number of people who receive any kind of benefit - that includes pensioners; those who can't work through illness and disability as well as those getting in work benefits even if that's just Child Benefit. 

Most of those 20 million hardly fit your description of "have never worked, don't wish to work and play the benefits system". 

Keep in mind about 1.5 Billion is lost in benefit fraud...

wenger2015 posted:

Keep in mind about 1.5 Billion is lost in benefit fraud...

Well that's not actually true is it either?

Official estimates put benefit fraud at 0.7% so that's your 1.5bn (1.6bn in the report I read). But it's just that; an estimate based on previous figures which suggested around 1.3bn (or 34% of overpayments for that year) was due to fraud rather than errors.

So it's true that DWP and overpaid around 4.6bn in benefits; but that is not the same as fraudulent claims as it includes errors and mistakes in calculations. They also underpaid 1.6bn. 

But if we're talking about lost money; that falls to insignificance almost compared with the 34bn lost due to tax evasion / avoidance. 

wenger2015 posted:

Keep in mind about 1.5 Billion is lost in benefit fraud...

According to Government figures published last October, the cost of benefit fraud (actually £1.6bn) is dwarfed by that of tax evasion and avoidance, which costs £34bn a year. Of this, about £4.4bn is outright evasion, and just under £3bn "legal but dubious" avoidance schemes. The rest can be accounted for by being "uncollected" whatever that means.

However, some estimate the cost to the UK Exchequer (via rich individuals and trans-national corporations salting assets and properties overseas and in tax havens) is about £120bn a year.

 

We need to be careful in bandying around assumptions about benefit claimants. I'm one, as I am receiving contribution based Employment and Support Allowance of £73.10 a week. This is because I cannot work due to the brain injury sustained as a result of being knocked off my bike last year, which rather turned my world upside down. I'd love to be able to work. 

Eloise posted:
wenger2015 posted:

Keep in mind about 1.5 Billion is lost in benefit fraud...

Well that's not actually true is it either?

Official estimates put benefit fraud at 0.7% so that's your 1.5bn (1.6bn in the report I read). But it's just that; an estimate based on previous figures which suggested around 1.3bn (or 34% of overpayments for that year) was due to fraud rather than errors.

So it's true that DWP and overpaid around 4.6bn in benefits; but that is not the same as fraudulent claims as it includes errors and mistakes in calculations. They also underpaid 1.6bn. 

But if we're talking about lost money; that falls to insignificance almost compared with the 34bn lost due to tax evasion / avoidance. 

Just how the figures breakdown is essentially guesswork .....and as with all figures they can be interpreted differently...

Hungryhalibut posted:

We need to be careful in bandying around assumptions about benefit claimants. I'm one, as I am receiving contribution based Employment and Support Allowance of £73.10 a week. This is because I cannot work due to the brain injury sustained as a result of being knocked off my bike last year, which rather turned my world upside down. I'd love to be able to work. 

No one I hope is suggesting hard working people who encounter unexpected situations are not entitled to benefits, it's often these ones that need it most and either end up with very little or somehow don't qualify....

wenger2015 posted:
Hungryhalibut posted:

We need to be careful in bandying around assumptions about benefit claimants. I'm one, as I am receiving contribution based Employment and Support Allowance of £73.10 a week. This is because I cannot work due to the brain injury sustained as a result of being knocked off my bike last year, which rather turned my world upside down. I'd love to be able to work. 

No one I hope is suggesting hard working people who encounter unexpected situations are not entitled to benefits, it's often these ones that need it most and either end up with very little or somehow don't qualify....

Well... your comments above were rather lumping all 20million people / families who claim benefit in the same pot.  Maybe not deliberately, but that could be the way your posts were ready (IMO).

Eloise posted:
wenger2015 posted:
Hungryhalibut posted:

We need to be careful in bandying around assumptions about benefit claimants. I'm one, as I am receiving contribution based Employment and Support Allowance of £73.10 a week. This is because I cannot work due to the brain injury sustained as a result of being knocked off my bike last year, which rather turned my world upside down. I'd love to be able to work. 

No one I hope is suggesting hard working people who encounter unexpected situations are not entitled to benefits, it's often these ones that need it most and either end up with very little or somehow don't qualify....

Well... your comments above were rather lumping all 20million people / families who claim benefit in the same pot.  Maybe not deliberately, but that could be the way your posts were ready (IMO).

I can only apologise if you feel that is the case, but that is certainly not what was meant.

 

I'm very pleased that the Tory social care policy has crumbled away today. As people have been indicating here it's a complicated issue and one that needs very careful thought. I had one or two additional points.

On intergenerational fairness. I am now in my late 60s and my thought is that any money I might be able to leave ought primarily to help my grandchildren some of whom will no doubt be saddled with large educational debts as well as the difficulty of buying a home.

Any social care proposal needs to transfer resources in a fair way amongst the population given the lottery element of the effects of various forms of illness, as has been pointed out. The Tory proposal of a minimum inheritance of £100000 instead of a maximum cap is intrinsically unfair as the very rich can fund care not from capital but from investment income - thereby preserving all capital assets for inheritance. Of course there may be circumstances where selling a home might be necessary to fund such income which is problematical and which is why a hypothecated additional death duties/inheritance tax seems the fairest solution.

Andy Burnham who I believe, proposed such an approach, made a very important point about a key practical advantage of such an approach on the radio at lunchtime. This was that if both health and social care are funded from taxation sources then it is much more straightforward to integrate the services and improve efficiency and effectiveness.

Clive

 

Kevin-W posted:
wenger2015 posted:

Keep in mind about 1.5 Billion is lost in benefit fraud...

According to Government figures published last October, the cost of benefit fraud (actually £1.6bn) is dwarfed by that of tax evasion and avoidance, which costs £34bn a year. Of this, about £4.4bn is outright evasion, and just under £3bn "legal but dubious" avoidance schemes. The rest can be accounted for by being "uncollected" whatever that means.

However, some estimate the cost to the UK Exchequer (via rich individuals and trans-national corporations salting assets and properties overseas and in tax havens) is about £120bn a year.

 

I have to admit not being aware of these figures, but if they are accurate, then tax evasion and tax avoidance (the closing of loopholes) are surely the areas where the Government should focus their attention.

However, I suspect that the Tories are quite happy to focus on the relatively few serious benefit fraudsters. After all, the biggest tax 'avoiders' are most likely to come from the natural Tory demographic.

Cdb posted:

I'm very pleased that the Tory social care policy has crumbled away today. As people have been indicating here it's a complicated issue and one that needs very careful thought. I had one or two additional points.

On intergenerational fairness. I am now in my late 60s and my thought is that any money I might be able to leave ought primarily to help my grandchildren some of whom will no doubt be saddled with large educational debts as well as the difficulty of buying a home.

Any social care proposal needs to transfer resources in a fair way amongst the population given the lottery element of the effects of various forms of illness, as has been pointed out. The Tory proposal of a minimum inheritance of £100000 instead of a maximum cap is intrinsically unfair as the very rich can fund care not from capital but from investment income - thereby preserving all capital assets for inheritance. Of course there may be circumstances where selling a home might be necessary to fund such income which is problematical and which is why a hypothecated additional death duties/inheritance tax seems the fairest solution.

Andy Burnham who I believe, proposed such an approach, made a very important point about a key practical advantage of such an approach on the radio at lunchtime. This was that if both health and social care are funded from taxation sources then it is much more straightforward to integrate the services and improve efficiency and effectiveness.

Clive

 

I completely agree.

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