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Impose a death tax to pay for Dilnot care reform, says MP
Former minister Paul Burstow has called for benefit cuts and new taxes to fund a £60,000 cap on long-term care costs for the elderly.
by Michelle McGagh on Jan 03, 2013 at 13:54
Liberal Democrat MP Paul Burstow has called for the coalition to implement a £60,000 cap on care costs, which could be paid for by reducing the winter fuel allowance for wealthy pensioners and imposing a 'death' tax.
Burstow (pictured), a former minister of state for care services, said Andrew Dilnot’s report that sets out reform of old age care services should be put into place. However, the MP for Sutton, Cheam and Worcester Park believes the cap on care costs should be set at £60,000 rather than the £35,000 cap recommended by the Dilnot commission.
The coalition has already delayed an announcement on how it would pay for the limit on care costs but Burstow has come up with a solution: remove winter fuel allowance from nine million older people and abolish tax breaks for those inheriting second homes or other high-value items, he says.
Burstow said the recommendations of Dilnot (pictured) were ‘the only viable option’ for ‘securing the future of care in this country’.
He also lambasted the Treasury for failing to come up with a funding proposition for the reforms.
‘Treasury officials have tried and failed to knock them down or come up with an alternative and their silence on the matter is deafening,’ he said.
Burstow made his comments known in a paper, 'Delivering Dilnot', by the CentreForum think-tank.
In the paper, he urged the coalition to link winter fuel payments to pension credit which would raise up to £1.5 billion a year ‘while protecting the poorest against cuts in their weekly incomes’.
He also championed a ‘capital gains tax at death’ which would raise £600 million a year. ‘
‘This means that the Treasury could save over £2 billion a year to pay for a Dilnot care system at a cap that would still protect those who so desperately need it,’ said Burstow.
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