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Pensioners deserve better!
THE government has been spectacularly slow in getting to grips with the issue of care funding and now we have been told we will have to wait until the end of next year before we get an answer.
We’ve had more than 20 reports which have all showed how the current system is in crisis and needs urgent attention, but the government seems incapable of understanding what urgent means for the 1m older people who are currently struggling with an inadequate care system.
Suggestions that people should pay up to £75,000 towards their care before the state steps in are outrageous. Why is social care one of the few areas that we don’t fund through general taxation, like education, the armed services and the NHS?
Instead we say to frail elderly people you are on your own; use your savings, sell your house and get on with it. We urgently need a National Care Service paid for by everyone so that we share the cost of care and ensure everyone gets the support they need in later life.
The white paper is short on ideas to solve the care crisis. There is no attempt to end the unfair postcode lottery which allows different councils to charge different amounts for an hour’s worth of care, no effort to widen access to care services for the 800,000 people who are currently excluded from the system, and no end to the means-test which penalises many people with small savings and a modest home.
Under these proposals people will still end up having to pay for care by selling their homes, the only difference will be that it will be done after they’ve died.
Many local councils already offer such as scheme and often its interest free unlike the government proposals. Whichever way you look at it, it’s a death tax. It’s also very doubtful that people will take out costly private care insurance. The vast majority of people will keep their fingers crossed and hope it doesn’t happen to them.
Finally our most senior pensioners sacrificed their youth fighting for freedom against the dark forces from Europe, rebuilt our country, built an NHS on low wages and could not afford things like a second pension, THEY DESERVE BETTER.
Trevor Prescott, St Helens Delegate, North West Regional Pensioners Association.