31 May 2011

Twisted legislation on ‘care home’ costs

More twisted legislation on pensioners is threatened. ‘A commission of experts appointed by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley is considering a cap [on care home fees].’ (Daily Mail, 19 May 2011)

Pensioners who are committed to ‘care homes’ have to pay the fees if they can afford to do so. If necessary, they have to sell their homes and deplete their assets in other ways, which deprives their children of their inheritances. But we know that nobody cares about that. Inheritance is a nasty idea, as is heredity. If anyone minds at all about forced sales of homes, there is probably some other reason behind it.

Perhaps people will come to realise that care homes are a bad idea and instead will form cooperative associations to maintain their freedom, and independence from state-provided benefits. This would be a good development from my point of view, but is to be avoided in the view of those who espouse the oppressive ideology.

The state wants to be as greedy as it can get away with, so it needs to consider what a majority of people brought up in the modern world will tolerate.

Yesterday [the] chairman [of the Commission on Funding of Care and Support], economist Andrew Dilnot, said: ‘My impression is that what people want most is a resolution. There’s a pretty widespread feeling that it’s not unreasonable that people have to pay something, but they don’t want to face losing everything.’ (ibid.)

So now it seems it is proposed that those who fall into the clutches of the oppressive state should be subsidised by taxing those who make adequate arrangements for themselves.

It was first proposed that on reaching pensionable age everybody should pay a lump sum into a fund to finance those who did eventually go into a ‘care home’. This proposal was not passed, but could always be revived.

Now it is proposed that the cost of incarceration in a ‘care home’ should be capped, so that not so many homes will have to be sold. Those who go into ‘care homes’ would be subsidised by those who manage to stay out of them.

An alternative to the lump sum confiscation from all on reaching pensionable age, which has also been proposed, is an additional lump sum ‘death duty’ to be paid out of the estates of those who die (after reaching pensionable age, or before as well?) to pay for the costs of care home incarceration, whether or not the deceased had himself ever been subjected to a ‘care home’.

The Daily Mail understands that capping fees at £50,000 is the favoured option of the Commission on Funding of Care and Support, appointed by the Government after the election. ... The other options being considered were a person paying a percentage of care costs, with the state picking up the rest; and the state paying a certain amount, above which the person pays. (ibid.)

Perhaps once again the driving force is the dislike of penalising a population with, on average, lower IQs, and of leaving a population with higher IQs unscathed. Is it not likely to be the case that those who are fit enough and/or resourceful enough, and/or sufficiently provided with devoted relatives, to avoid going into a ‘care home’ at all, constitute a population with an average IQ above that of the population of those whose health is suspect and who are too passive, or ‘past it’, to fix themselves up with adequate arrangements at home?

So it cannot (the argument goes) be fair that those who are robust enough to escape the ‘care homes’ should pay less towards the cost of them than those who are forced to rely on them. There is no suggestion that the cost reduction granted to ‘care home’ occupants will be financed by reducing state spending in other areas, e.g. overseas aid. It is therefore bound to come out of higher taxes, even if this is hidden, as many new taxes now are.

When I reached the age at which I started to receive a state pension – which was already somewhat ‘withered on the vine’ – I was not forced to contribute a lump sum towards my future possible incarceration in a ‘care home’ and would have been appalled if I had been, as I would never submit to any such fate, and was still trying to build up capital towards the start of an adequate academic career, of which I had been deprived by being exposed to state-funded ‘education’.

My parents’ lives had also been severely damaged by the ruin of my life, and my father had been an invalid ever since. I had no salary and no eligibility for ‘social security’, and suffered very much myself from lack of basic ancillary staff. Nevertheless I would not consider my parents being forced into ‘care homes’ and promised them that, whatever happened, I would find ways of providing for their needs at home.

It would certainly not have seemed ‘fair’ to me if their estates had each been reduced on death by a lump sum to pay for the ‘care’ which they might have, but had not, received.