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Why shouldn't you use your home to pay for care?

You may have no option but to use your home to pay for your long-term care but chances are you won't move back home so why worry about selling your home.


by Michelle McGagh on Feb 28, 2013 at 14:10

Why shouldn't you use your home to pay for care?

The idea of selling the family home to pay for care sends a shiver down the spines of many but why shouldn’t the government ask the asset-rich to pay for their old age?

The government is shaking up long-term care, introducing a cap on care fees of £75,000 and extending the means-testing threshold for government help to £123,000.

It has also boldly proclaimed that no-one will be made to sell their home to pay for care thanks to the 'deferred payment scheme'. The argument is that people have worked hard all their lives paying off their mortgages to own their piece of this green and pleasant land so why should they be made to sell their home to pay for the terrifyingly-high cost of old age care?

This policy plays straight into the hands of the babyboomers, who it should be noted are a key voting demographic, by essentially promising to insulate them from the cost of their later life. What doesn’t make sense is the fact that when someone goes into care, it doesn’t matter whether the house is there or not, because once you move into a care home there is a slim to zero chance you’ll come out again.

For those who argue they want to leave their property to their relatives, well the cost of the care has to be paid for whether it is upfront or after death, meaning the house will more than likely have to be sold anyway to cover the bill – unless of course you have a spare £75,000 sitting around.

Of course the benefit of deferring care fees is that it prevents a fire sale of a property at a knock-down price but it doesn’t need to be deferred until after death considering some people spend many years in care.

You’ll have to cough up anyway

Despite the government’s big boast, the fact of the matter is your home will probably have to be sold to pay for your care anyway. Few people have £75,000 in savings to cover the bills and the cap on fees only covers the cost of your actual care, not the ‘hotel costs’ of residential accommodation and food.

And even though the means-testing threshold has been increased from £23,500 to £123,000 it doesn’t mean that those with less than £123,000 in assets get free care. Only those with £17,500 or less receive free care and everyone else with assets up to £123,000 will receive state help with costs on a sliding scale – the richer you are the less help you get until those with over £123,000 of assets receive no help towards the £75,000 cap.

The truth is you’ll have to pay for care; we’ve got a cap that doesn’t cover all care costs and a generous means-test threshold working on a sliding scale.

A better way

If people really want to stay in their homes, surely they should look at modifications and at-home support, maybe even intergenerational living (although granted this may not be an option for some older people with more serious care needs).

The coalition has already said it would relax planning permission rules for a three-year period in order to let people extend their homes, so a ‘granny annexe’ will become a viable option for some families. Although a word of warning, check with your local council on where it stands as the government has said it will allow the local authority to decide whether it will follow the plan and many boroughs have opposed it.

Whichever way you look at it, care is costly and the state can’t afford to cover all the costs. People will have to take more responsibility for themselves.

Young people struggling to get on the property ladder are reminded that owning a property is a privilege not a right, but older generations need to heed the message too; just because a property is your home it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be expected to pay your way and dump another costly bill on an already over-burdened generation.

85 comments so far. Why not have your say?

Clive B

Feb 28, 2013 at 14:25

I wish reporters would stop using terms like "the government" and "the state" when they refer to paying for care.

Sounds so reasonable for people to say "I've worked hard all my life, saved up, bought a home. Now I'm old, I need to go into care, but I don't want to sell my home because I'd like to leave it to my children (or whatever). Hence, I'd like the goverment/the state to pay".

Wrong !

It's not some nebulous government that pays, it's us taxpayers. Doesn't sound so reasonable when you try it again as "I've worked hard all my to leave it to my children...Hence, I'd like other people to pay for my care even if they don't have as much money as me, or a home".

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Keith Cobby

Feb 28, 2013 at 15:25

The problem here as usual is the means test. If you have no money or spend it all the state will provide. The rich will be okay, it is the prudent who lose out. The huge expansion of means testing for benefits (now including child benefit) is, I think, a major reason for the fiscal mess we are in and our increasing uncompetitiveness.

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Sooz Blooz

Feb 28, 2013 at 15:28

Agree. I shout at my TV screen when newscasters say the government/state/council are paying for something. It's not them paying, it is us the taxpayers.

Also can they stop saying things are "free".....nothing is free, it's paid for by taxpayers.....

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Anonymous 1 needed this 'off the record'

Feb 28, 2013 at 16:39

To Clive B and Sooz

Your rants would be fine but you neglet to mention that we pay national insurance contributions to the government.

The term is "insurance".

Hard working people pay their insurance premiums all their life and when they unfortunately claim on their government policy the government tells them to get stuffed.

Under the current system there are three types of people;

1. Hard working people who pay their government insurance premiums and save, buy homes, invest, pay into pensions - These MUGS pay twice for their LTC

2. Hard workers who pay their NI but who kiss their salaries all up the wall spend the lot - They pay once for LTC

3. Those who don't work, live on benefits, pay no insurance premiums to the Government - They pay absolutely NOWT for LTC

Hard workers are forced to pay insurance premiums to a Govt who doesn't honour the policy.

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Feb 28, 2013 at 17:00

Yet another wind up. The majority of us baby boomers you refer too were brought up not to rely on the state but to provide for ourselves by way of saving and pensions.

If we can afford to provide 500,000 houses for large families who pay nothing. We can provide free care for the elderly. How does Scotland afford it. Is because we have a Scottish leader?

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Mark Wadsworth

Feb 28, 2013 at 17:00

Excellent article, completely agreed.

As Clive B says: "I've worked hard all my to leave it to my children...Hence, I'd like other people to pay for my care even if they don't have as much money as me, or a home".

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Clive B

Feb 28, 2013 at 17:03

Anon 1

I don't believe the NI we pay is anywhere close to the amounts needed to fund old age care for an increasing number of people.

Governments of all persuasions over the past decades have kept tax low to gain popular support (whilst wasting vast amounts of the money they do raise on other things). NHS strikes me as another example, we pay some, but expect massively more.

Not a rant. It just strikes me that people expect to pay some farily nominal amount and then claim for anything that happens to them - without limit - on the basis of "I've paid for that already". I don't believe that happens with insurance with commercial companies. They define both your payments AND your maximum payout.

So, people can choose - pay massively more insurance your whole life and maybe "the state" can afford to help you, be it in the NHS or in care homes, or continue with your nominal insurance and you have to pay for it yourself.

personally, I'm happy to pay for myself in old age. Time this country shook off its benefit culture thinking where "the state" will/should provide for everything without limit.

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Nigel Clark

Feb 28, 2013 at 17:05

To Anonimous 1

I agree 100% and what is happening is that your Type 1's are turning to spending everything they have. Why save anything if the government (sorry taxpayer) is going to claw it all back.

I think I'll book up for another Cruise .....

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Feb 28, 2013 at 17:20

There is a wider debate to have here.

You may be someone who has a heart condition and who has continuous expensive Health Service treatment, but never need residential care. So you don't have to pay.


you may be someone who cost the Health Service little or nothing, during the majority of your life, but develop dementia and will eventually need residential care. for which you will now have to pay .


"are we all in it together"?

Ones health care needs may be as a result of ones lifestyle, but is still free at the point of delivery.

another person may have lived a well balanced healthy lifestyle, but now needs care.

How do you "fairly" divide the needs of "Health Care" and "Residential Care"

or is the luck of the draw - the latter having to pay?

You will, of course, get someone who needs both and that is very unfortunate. But, having been asked to insure ourselves for residential care, will there eventually be aspects of our health care that will have to be insured for?

Where are we going with this?

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Feb 28, 2013 at 17:22

Once again, you have forgotten that those people who have bought homes have paid taxes and national insurance throughout their lifetimes in order to cover the possibility that they may need long term care. Its called "insurance" - actually, its a pyramid scheme con the "benefits" from which the government reduces at whim. Personally, having worked hard and paid a large amount of tax in my life, and now owning my own house and modest savings, I resent the fact that I would still lose my house if long term care was needed. I would much rather pass it to the family. They are renting and cannot afford to buy their own. And yes, they do work and pay taxes.

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Anonymous 1 needed this 'off the record'

Feb 28, 2013 at 17:24

I do not consider the £400 per month I pay in National "Insurance" premiums to be a fairly nominal amount.

The problem still remainsit is the hard working savers amongst us who pay twice.

My uncle left the army after the war and joined the GPO. He worked hard, paid his taxes, paid his NI, saved in his GPO pension and also saved around £120K.

He was a batchelor and rented council.

When he went into long term care I said to the home director "if he had no money and no pension would my uncle still receive this care"

She said "of course he will"

And thats the problem, he didn't want to be a burden and was stuffed twice by the state

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chris gough

Feb 28, 2013 at 17:26

There used to be a brilliant system.... for those that worked and paid, a better standard of LTC. For those that had not, the workhouse. A return to that would provide an excellent incentive.

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Feb 28, 2013 at 17:27

And another thing - those of us working are paying a massive amount of tax. By the time you take income tax, VAT, national insuarnce both employers and employees, council tax, vehicle tax, fuel tax, tax on power, air passenger tax, insurance tax to name but a few, we must be paying 50 to 60 percent of our income to the government. The way I see it, the problem is much more fundamental than "Can the taxpayer afford long term care". The question should be "Why are taxes so high with so little benefit returned to the taxpayer"?? Surely, with the amount of tax we pay, there should be plenty to fund long term care from taxes?

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Carefull watcher

Feb 28, 2013 at 17:30

I can see no reason why the state (i.e. taxpayers) should pay to allow people to pass the value of their homes on to their children. The great advantage that people with assets have over those who have no savings or house to sell is CHOICE. Personally, I have no wish to be in a position in which the state dictates where I spend my final years. I would be more than happy to cash in my house to allow me to chose where I end up.

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Christopher Roberts

Feb 28, 2013 at 17:41

The problem is caused by the fact that we are all living longer kept alive by expensive drugs so that bits start failing such that we have to go into care. No one I know wants to go into care, but Social services will force you if you are unable to exist in your own home. We need to legalise Uthernasia so we can make a choice when we exit stage left!!!!

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Feb 28, 2013 at 17:47

I have the answer !!! Old people (and I include myself in that group) should go on a permanent Cruise !! With advance bookings and booking so many cruises back to back you can get the price down to around $60 a day or $1800 a month equating to about £1200 amonth or £14,400 a year. For that you get a nice cabin cleaned every day ..fresh linen every couple of days much food as you want service and crew will wheel you about in your wheel chair if you want - plus there are shows every nite, card rooms, free movies etc. etc. what more could you want ??? Great deal ...the government should look into it !!!

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Feb 28, 2013 at 17:55

I agree with the article, but I like to take a slightly different look at things. For most elderly people, the threat of £40,000 a year (or more) disappearing from the family coffers is quite a good insurance policy. Voracious offspring will have to try hard to keep the elderly relative at home if their own expectations are threatened. If the state were to pay for everyone's care, then there would be a deluge of old dears being dropped off at care homes. So the beneficiaries would be the care home industry and the offspring. The losers would be the old dears and the taxpayers.

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White Stick follower

Feb 28, 2013 at 18:10

If the person needing LTC defers the fees until post mortem, will those fees be deducted from the value of that persons estate prior to calculating its gross value? If so then on a balance of probabilities the Treasury won't be able to grab 40% IHT on a sizeable chunk. On the other hand knowing the rapacious Treasury it will probably claim IHT first and then leave the deferred fees to be paid from the residue. Given that fees are paid from PCT funds does that mean that the County Council will be the loser, and that local tax payers will have to cough up to provide new resources so as to continue to function, or will Central Government reimburse County Councils? However the funds, as is stated above will come from the tax payer, as the State has no money other than that which it extorts from its tax paying citizens.

Another bureaucratic merry go round- and before someone posts a complaint about more public service costs, please remember that Politicians are servants of the State, so we pay for them. Politicians, naturally suffer short term memory as they instantly forget that they are the servants of the electorate, only remembering when General Elections come round.

As for their LTC, as most are extremely wealthy, if not when elected, then not that long afterwards, so I doubt that they really worry about the costs.

Lastly, having had to find a Residential Nursing Care Home for an Aunt I visited a number of potential homes. Some were mostly if not all occupied by PTC fee paid residents, others were lived in by self-funders. The standards all of which met the QCC 3 stars were remarkably different. My sisters & I chose a mid-range home, where my Aunt is very comfortable, albeit paying her own fees Had she been placed in certain of the PCT type homes I have no doubt she would now be deceased.

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P A Williams

Feb 28, 2013 at 18:20

Take the words baby boomers out of this article, they are irrelevant the argument is about social morality and fairness.

Is it moral, as Anonymous 1 has pointed out, for someone who has worked and paid National Insurance and taxes all his working life to then pay again so someone who has done the opposite enjoys the same care?. I say it is not.

The fairest way is the State should provide a basic level of care and accommodation for the genuine sick and elderly who need nursing support. This should be paid for by current levels of taxation and these revenues (NI contributions and general taxation) together with the annual costs of providing this care should be in the public domain and taken out of the reach of grubby politicians. Standards for care and services provided with costs should be publicised and if more or less funding is needed this should be debated and part of a five year social plan. ALL successive UK Governments since 1961 have used the PESC (Public Expediture Survey Committee) process to agree and fix public expenditure on an annual basis. Its only later Governments, Blair and Brown, that have keep this process and results secret and under their personal control and abuse.

Take the politicians out of it and use the machinery of the Civil Service - that we all pay for - to publish standards and budgets that the country can then vote on.

The fact that eveyone reading this article can comment and debate demonstrates that the mechanisms exist for this to happen.

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Feb 28, 2013 at 18:40

Anon1 I agree, Clive B, I say you are wrong. You pay you should get decent treatment, if you don't, it should be basic, no frills.

I have paid my fair share and then some. Got robbed by Cyclops and Balls. How fair is it that I should be robbed again?

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william Westlake

Feb 28, 2013 at 18:43

@ Mike R. If you want to give your family your home then give it to them now, let them sell it and go and live with them in the dwelling they can now afford.

To expect to live in your home and then have me (a taxpayer) pay for your LTC so that you can give the home to your children seems very unfair on me. Especially if the children in question (and I'm not suggesting yours are) are too lazy or incompetent to work hard enough to get their own place.

Those receiving benefits should be made to spend a portion of their time working in care homes to reduce the bill for me (the tax payer) who pays both their benefits and the vast majority of the LTC fees.

It really is time NI was scrapped if the name truly leads people to believe that they are contributing enough to pay for their Healthcare, unemployment benefit, old age pension and LTC with their weekly stamp......dream on guys.

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Dennis Cochran

Feb 28, 2013 at 18:46

At last someone's written something sensible on this emotive subjct - emotive that is for greedy offspring who already count their parent's wealth as their nown.

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Feb 28, 2013 at 18:47

During my fairly long lifetime I have paid hundreds of thousands in tax, national insurance and all the rest of the junk.

I have had to suffer bombing, rationing, at times little money and now the EU.

Fair enough, that's life, one just has to get on with it.

Then we get a Labour Government who through total incompetence effectively bankrupts the country.

Because of the horrendous state of the public finances the present Government is having to scratch around for every penny that they can find and this involves them doing things that they would prefer not to do.

As well as this the Conservatives are trammelled in a coalition with the Lib/Dems, a party who a couple of days ago was rubbished in a Times Leader as being no more than two and a half men and a dog.

The reality of the situation is that my country appears to be fast going down the tubes and only a minority 'gives a flying #X@%'

I could care less if they take my home and all that I own, but please do not murder me by putting me on the Liverpool Pathway.

If people don't like what is happening in our country then leave, if they cannot afford to leave then fight and fight to change the situation, that is what democracy is really all about.

If people have not the energy to fight personally then at least support, through the ballot box and by donation, those who are prepared to do so, they really are out there if you really look.

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Clive B

Feb 28, 2013 at 19:00


"You pay you should get decent treatment".

Yes, I agree with that, but surely the question is - have we all been paying enough to afford that "decent" treatment. I do agree we've all been paying and continue to do so, but that's not enough (imo).

Let's go back a generation or two. As we do, they paid tax and NI. From that they couldn't expect that much from the NHS (couple of generations back they hadn't developed some of the amazing - but costly - procedures they can do now). Also, not that many lived past retirement (e.g. my father didn't), so the LTC demands were low.

Switch to now. NHS has many more procedures. Health care much better so many more poeple living to old age. Probably both of these put multiples of cost on the services relative to 50 years ago. But, I don't believe we're paying multiples (2x , 3x, ) more tax and NI that previous generations did.

As a country, I think we've been paying over decades for fairly basic NHS/LTC services, but now expect the "rolls royce" service simply on the basis we've paid something. For me, the numbers don't work. Doesn't help either than the goverment doesn't ring fence the money one generation pays for that generation, but spends it elsewhere. As somebody said previously, bit of a pyramid scheme.

So I agree with you, but with a twist - if we all want great care, we'll need to stump up massively more money. Personally, I'd rather pay for it myself directly, as governments are wasteful and you can't trust them !


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Mike Greenland

Feb 28, 2013 at 19:25

I have worked hard and got a house which yes I would like to leave to my children. WHat sticks in my throat is the people who have not worked hard or not bothered to save get it all paid for people like me. They need to be made to be more on the bread line and have to work and pay their way

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Roger Savage

Feb 28, 2013 at 19:39

Totally agree Mike.

A much better (more balanced?) question for this article is...

Why should those who sponge off the state all their lives (imported and indigenous spongers alike) expect the taxpayer to pay for their care and legions of kids?

"Whichever way you look at it, care is costly and the state can’t afford to cover all the costs. People will have to take more responsibility for themselves."

Really Michelle? But the state is happy to pay for those who don't contribute and have never contributed. Therefore your argument against care in old age frankly looks ridiculous - penalising people who have paid and paid and have to pay again whilst those who pay nowt get everything laid on for them on a plate.

Perhaps you should take responsiblity towards proper journalism - thinking about what you write in the wider context and employing a sense of balance.

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Feb 28, 2013 at 21:03

I think that we should put things into context here. Fair comment that the baby boomers are well off and I'm typical I suppose, no mortgage, nice house by the sea, income from rental properties and a Mercedes in the drive. But when I got married, my stag night was down the pub for a few beers, the wedding was not very expensive and the honeymoon was a week in Paris. If you wanted to make a phone call, you went to a phone box and your first vehicle was a scooter followed by an inexpensive car.

Nowadays a stag night consists of a weekend abroad with your mates getting smashed out of your brains for the whole time with the groom handcuffed to a midget.

The wedding costs an absolute fortune and the honeymoon would probably be a fortnight in the Seychelles.

Everybody from the age of five has a mobile phone, an Xbox, a computer an Ipod, Ipad and everything else Pad, a tv in the bedroom, a cinema screen in the lounge and that's just the people on benefits.

Your standard of living nowadays is far higher than we could ever have dreamed of, but are you saving any of your money like we did? I doubt it.

So go ahead and enjoy your lives and spend all your money, but you will be old one day and before that, if you are very lucky you may be dug out of the s**t by being left some money by your baby boomer parents. Then you will be labelled " the Inheritors" and expected to spend your money on a care home while the have not's get it free.

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Feb 28, 2013 at 21:51

Clive B and clarkkent,

Thanks, I enjoyed your contributions. Good points, amusingly delivered.

Some other contributors, not so good I'm afraid. Comparison with less fortunate people gets us nowhere in this debate.

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Feb 28, 2013 at 21:55

Anonymous 1: You're not quite right, those hard working people who pay their taxes, buy a house and save and then pay for their LTC actually pay three times. Their care home fees will include a subsidy so that the local authority can buy the same care for the free-loaders at a lower rate than you will pay.

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Feb 28, 2013 at 22:03

Drake, it's not the less fortunate people who create the anger it's the less responsible people. All those who take what they can and do nothing to help themselves and those who could help themselves but just spend, spend , spend. Added to that the obscene levels of benefits handed out to all and sundry, courtesy of one G. Brown.

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forestbhoy via mobile

Feb 28, 2013 at 22:35

Just an idea,that could work for a lot of people. How about the person wanting ltc selling their house and moving in with their son or daughters family. The last years of their life would be with people they love........this is the person who cared for us when we were young, so shouldnt we return that care that they showed..........? But i forgot,a family home now is just part of our pension plan....

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Feb 28, 2013 at 22:37

The government are corrupt, I would rather not pay any tax. We get about 10p of value for every pound we pay in. Freeloading starts from the very top with the Prime Minister so why shouldn't I enjoy my hard earned house and have the state care for me? After all, I have paid more than my fair share of taxes and had next to nothing from the Government in return. Maybe my MP can expense my care bills, she's screwed us for a lot more than that!

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steven fieldfare

Feb 28, 2013 at 22:39

Michelle's argument is surely self-defeating, resting on penalising life success rather than demanding discipline in preparation and contribution - points that ClarkKent makes very well. Inevitably, the mood among the successful will change from willingness to make a contribution to welfare of those less fortunate to an attitude of why bother (using cruise liners as Care Homes?).

In this race to the bottom, few will try hard and all become dependant on the State. How does this help care funding?

And for those who argue that NI is insufficient to meet later health and care demand, contributions would come a good deal closer without the large amount of non contributory demand, starting often well before pension and care age - lifestyle health care for example. It is here that long term solution needs to be found, alongside perhaps higher contribution to NI including token amounts from benefits claimants to re-inforce the message.

Outside A&E, perhaps time has come for contributory charges for some healthcare; an affordability issue that we have had to face already with dental services. My own favourite would be a £10 charge for failing to turn up for appointments or giving less than 24 hours notice of cancellation. The almost religious fervour of the NHS creed "free at the point of delivery" is a needed culture change long overdue, if only to re-focus minds on care in old age, including need for greater family responsibility.

But casting around to loot one of the few remaining sources of national wealth as a finger in the dyke exercise will achieve nothing, so long as demand from non or occasional contributors flows on unchecked.

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Mike Greenland

Mar 01, 2013 at 07:25

Stephen on.

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Mar 01, 2013 at 08:47

I have no problem at all with selling my home to provide my care costs as long as the Government acknowledges the fact by NOT charging me Inheritance Tax on my assets which I have gathered to keep me and my family independent of the taxpayer and in the way in which we have become accustomed . It seems to be forgotten that IHT is to be paid on a great chunk of my assets which if I had sold to buy care would not then pass to the state. I am happy to take the risk of looking after myself if the Government lifts the IHT limit to a figure which affects only the multimillionaires who avoid IHT because they camn afford the accountant costs. Between means test state support for the feckless and IHt the prudent 'striver' is between the rock and the hard place.

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Raymond Hurley

Mar 01, 2013 at 10:05

It is not the baby boomers who would benefit from the state (taxpayer) taking on the complete cost of longterm care.

It is their selfish and greedy middle aged children.

These people expect to inherit substantial wealth, completely unencumbered by any obligation to their aging parents.

I have nothing but contempt for them.

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Anonymous 2 needed this 'off the record'

Mar 01, 2013 at 10:16

We are expensively governed, badly governed and over-governed. Reduce the House of Lords to 100 Senators from the current 900 members or so who can claim £300 daily attendance allowance. Cut back the Members of Parliament from 650 to 300 Max. MPs allowances cost £ millions and we know that the system has been well and truly abused. Cutting the number of MPs will dramatically reduce th expenses bill (fewer claims). Further, make expenses part of the income tax banding. The more you claim, the higher the tax take percentage band on earned income, thereby adding a further expense claims regulator. There is a massive amount of potential 'slack' in the funding of the UK, certainly sufficient to look after the needs of our elderly. We just need an audit of who gets what, who pays and whether the payment can be justified.

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Mar 01, 2013 at 10:25

ajay - the less fortunate are those who end up in "care" homes, whether they have made provision or not. If the state is going to pay, many will end up in "care" homes when they have become a burden to their families. We have two relatives in their late 80's, one sadly now deceased, the other alive and well, living at home at the age of 87. Neither has been in a "care" home. Raymond Hurley is right, if a little sweeping.

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White Stick follower

Mar 01, 2013 at 11:23

Just for interest:- I asked the owner of the nursing care home, costing just over £800 per week, in which my Aunt is now living what would happen if her funds became exhausted and she then had to rely on PCT funding . He replied "We don't force anyone here to leave- those who pay, pay for those who don't- although she might have to move into a smaller room". At another top of the range home, with fees at about £1700 per week, plus an initial, one time, £6K+ amenity fee for moving in , plus extra charges for giving medication, applying dressings etc etc I asked the same question . The manager's reply was "If someone runs out of money then they have to leave'". My Aunt when told of these fees said "I can't afford that can I ?" Well she could, but only for a couple of years. My Aunt lived carefully, if not frugally at times, during her earlier life. She has funds. We have sold her home for her which will provide extra resources. Her quality of life is better in the home, than in her former own home, and a million times better than in the local NHS 'hospital'. It is her money it is for her use and care.

One of the biggest obstacles in life these days is that so many younger folk ( indigenous and immigrant) seem to believe that they have a right to free everything. Time and again on TV we see young women complaining, as at last night, that 'I am a single Mum, and I can't afford to live on £500 per week'. Why is she s single Mum? Probably because she saw it as a way of getting 'my right' to a flat from the local authority, with rent etc paid for by the tax payers.Does the allegedly missing, father contribute? Of course not- he's on benefits and can't afford to, or more probably won't bother to. As for £500 per week net-why can she not afford to live on that? Its more than my wife & I have by way of net income- but, of course I am retired was and still am a tax payer. My wife stayed at home to bring up our family. I have no complaint about that..

Perhaps these pen pictures show how attitudes have changed?

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Mark Wadsworth

Mar 01, 2013 at 11:34

White Stick follower: "Probably because she saw it as a way of getting 'my right' to a flat from the local authority, with rent etc paid for by the tax payers."

Woah! Slag off welfare claimants by all means but don't tell such outrageous lies! Social housing, as a whole, is self-funding. The rent and council tax which one-third non-claimant social tenants pay is enough to cover the running costs of all social housing (give or take a bit).

And non-claimant social tenants are paying twice as much in housing related taxes (i.e. rent plus tax minus actual running costs) as owner-occupiers pay (£4,000 as against £2,000) so which is the owner-occupiers always whining and moaning?

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White Stick follower

Mar 01, 2013 at 12:00

I have a younger relative who lives in a Housing Association house with her daughter. The rent normally would be £147 per week- she pays £27 from her benefits. Her husband departed some years ago, leaving her with her daughter ( and has done the same thing again since elsewhere). He owes nearly £9,000 in arrears, but only pays the odd couple of hundred when facing imprisonment for failure to comply with Court Orders. He does work, largely for cash. She has a 3-bed house and now complains that she will lose £14 per week in rent allowance because she has a spare bedroom. She could not possibly earn enough to have as much income as she has, with all her benefits and concessions. She has only ever worked for about 5 years since leaving school, and is now 40+. And for the record, who bails her out when she hasn't got any money? My wife & I do, increasingly as her daughter has become a teenager and is staying on at school in the hope of securing a professional qualification.We don't mind helping a girl who wants to achieve something and support herself after college.

As for 'slagging off'- not a phrase I would use. The loss of 'rights' numbers were taken from TV NEWS interviews over the last few days.

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steven fieldfare

Mar 01, 2013 at 12:03

Raymond Hurley surely goes over the top.

While true that some uncaring middle age inheritors may too easily benefit, this is an unlikely majority position as White Stick follower makes clear. More likely is that families careful enough to accrue assets are equally caring in their ongoing use; either from grandparents' desire to see grandchildren off to a good start and/or childrens' desire to do their best for ailing parents.

With higher education coming at ever increasing cost and house deposits expensive, inheritance is more and more important in securing family futures. Families will see little merit in life effort that is all stripped away to provide for those who didn't bother and/or relied on largesse from others.

So it is not all about Ferraris for some and want for others. As the Communist world found out, rounding down does not work; what matters is fair chance to strive upwards.

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Mar 01, 2013 at 12:22

You dont have to pay anything for LTC. By the time you get to that stage quality of life is over so just committ suicide since the government will not legalise euthanasia. You can leave your estate to whoever you want then, aside from being robbed of 40% IHT.

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Mar 01, 2013 at 12:27

Drake - you are rather distorting the discussion by changing the definition of 'less fortunate' midstream.

There seems to be an assumption in all of the discussion about long term care that it involves a single person with children. Have you considered the implications if neither of these is the fact?

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Mar 01, 2013 at 12:36

ajay - I did swerve a bit there. I suppose my basic point is that everything possible should be done to allow people the much cheaper, and generally more satisfactory, option of staying in their own homes in their old age. If money is to be spent, it is much better spent on home care, whilst not imposing care obligations on offspring, or as you say elderly spouses. Just having the state pay for institutional care (even with some excess figure like £75,000) would result in a huge influx of elderly people into care homes simply because it's the easiest option.

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Mark Wadsworth

Mar 01, 2013 at 12:39

SF, do you realise that you have just completely contradicted yourself..?

"With higher education coming at ever increasing cost and house deposits expensive, inheritance is more and more important in securing family futures. Families will see little merit in life effort that is all stripped away to provide for those who didn't bother and/or relied on largesse from others."

Why is somebody who hangs about waiting for an inheritance so morally superior to somebody who claims benefits? It's the Baby Boomers and older people who increased tuition fees, student grants and who deliberately and ruthlessly pushed up rents and house prices. The idea that you are doing this out of some noble desire to "help your children and grandchildren by leaving them a bigger inheritance" is frankly laughable.

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steven fieldfare

Mar 01, 2013 at 12:45

I have some difficulty with Mark Wadsworth's economics on social housing.

Even accepting that payers' rent and tax cover running costs for the 60% not contributing at full rate (some sources put the figure as high as 75%), there seems no reckoning of the capital cost of providing the housing. Private owners do this, of course, through their mortgages; while private renters invariably carry an element of capital charge in average higher rents. Further, social renters have opportunity for a substantialdiscount if they elect to purchase, making the mortgage re-payment task overall easier to achieve.

Also there is something elastic over the tax calculation. The rent seems to be included as part of the tax calculation when measured against tax contribution by private owners. But at least part of the rent is certainly used against ongoing maintenance, re-furbishment and insurance, calculation not included in private owners' tax assessment.

Finally, there is considerable stretch in an inference that Income and Council Tax and NI contributions by one third who pay may cover also lifetime need for two thirds who do not. If that were so across Society as a whole, why is there a care cost problem?

I do not attack social housing arrangements and respect especially those paying their way within it, and need to help those unfortunate enough to need non-contributory respite. But any idea that it is a self funding enterprise, I am more than sceptical over.

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Mark Wadsworth

Mar 01, 2013 at 13:04

SF says of my comment "there seems no reckoning of the capital cost of providing the housing"

That is so close to £nil as to be not worth measuring. Local councils can borrow at 2% or something, i.e. a long run real interest rate of zero%. So the council builds a unit for between £40,000 and £80,000, the "capital cost" is something like £800 - £1,600 per year, but there are equal and opposite "capital gains" to offset against that.

For sure, the theoretical selling price of a council house is irrelevant so that "capital gain" should never be realised as a lump sum, but as they can increase their rents in line with wages or prices, the net present value of the future income stream from non-claimant paying tenants (which is equivalent to the notional selling price) also goes up by a few per cent a year and it all nets off to nothing.

"at least part of the rent is certainly used against ongoing maintenance, re-furbishment and insurance, calculation not included in private owners' tax assessment."

Yes, I adjusted for that. Average rents in council and housing association housing is a shade over £4,000 a year, plus £1,000 average council tax, plus other housing or wealth-related taxes = £6,000 minus £2,000 running costs = net profit for the government of £4,000.

The average council tax and other housing or wealth-related taxes paid by owner-occupiers is about £2,000.

Feel free to do your own full analysis of receipts and costs, mine is here

"Further, social renters have opportunity for a substantial discount if they elect to purchase"

Bad idea, very bad idea. All that happens is that ultimately landlords and bankers end up collecting Housing Benefit - the full cost to the taxpayer of each claimant household in "private rented" sector is something like £5,000 a year.

"there is considerable stretch in an inference that Income and Council Tax and NI contributions by one third who pay may cover also lifetime need for two thirds who do not"

I never said that. I said the rents + housing and wealth related taxes paid by paying social tenants cover the full cost of providing all social housing, i.e. the running costs. I certainly did not include income tax or NI paid by paying social tenants, I am sticking to the topic of social housing.

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Anonymous 3 needed this 'off the record'

Mar 01, 2013 at 14:20

Governments are at least partly to blame for this. They monitor birth and death stats and should have foreseen what would happen when the baby boomers reached pensionable age. Instead they kissed our taxes and NI contributions up the walls called: the EU, futile subsidies for wind power, un-targetted foreign aid, selling gold at the bottom of the cycle, never ending NHS reorganisations, MOD procurement contracts, MPs expenses etc. etc.

Partly it depends how you get on with your kids and how they get on with their husbands/wives/significant others, but I'll be giving my kids as much of my modest wealth as I can over the next few years, and be asking them to invest it for income. Then I'll say that I expect generous birthday and Christmas presents (in cash) .

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steven fieldfare

Mar 01, 2013 at 15:08

I am unsure whether our discussion over social housing continues to be worthwhile, given that it strays considerably from care costs. However, I recognise that care is part of an overall topic of health and welfare, where costs have become voracious and few remaining sources of wealth remain to feed the monster. The search is on to plug affordability gaps from wherever. We have opposing views and so it will remain.

You seem to believe that the resources of one generation should be shared around to meet demand in that generation. Fairness and equality should start from zero for each subsequent generation. I believe that national wealth, and consequent shot at improved well being, can only be achieved by sustained improvement building generation on generation (and, I agree, there will be examples of selfish lapses). Certainly this generation has no right to rip out the wishes and intent of the last and leave the next nothing.

But one last try over the economics of social housing where you seem mired, from my view, in creative accounting.

On capital costs, you apparently repay interest only leaving the capital borrowing unpaid. Within that calculation, you assume low borrowing rates of 2% indefinitely. You also seem to assume that capital appreciation of the property will rise by a minimum of 2% per year, allowing its purchase presumably to self fund over 30 years or so?

You offer no deposit. But lenders demand one to cushion themselves against risks of fall in value, adjudged to be high at present (therefore high deposits). Even should the dice roll your way, you would still not be able to realise your capital because of relacement cost. Either capital cost would have to be transferred on, and added to, in a new property or you would have to soldier on with interest payments for an ageing and high maintenance property.

Expansion of numbers, new stock or degraded stock would require additional finance from where....if not right to buy sales, from rent increases from the 33% paying? You may measure the likely scale of these from private rental charges that you decry, where landlords try to do a variation of this sort of thing to grow their business (some, I agree, not so ethically - as some Councils with their high CEO and Housing Director salaries).

Your calculation of maintenance and tax costs between Social renters and private owners also seem skewed. While for social renters you lump in additional costs and charges to Council Tax to achieve your surplus, you include only Council Tax for private owners and do not include their additional charges and costs, including mortgage and insurance.

Finally, if from our different views, all taxes and charges from Social payers are ring fenced to meet running costs of social housing; is not that the same thing as saying private home owners will therefore have to pay for all care costs regardless - a very allowable reason for whingeing and groaning?

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Jack Belfitt

Mar 01, 2013 at 15:20

I believe that we would not be anywhere near in this mess had not succesive governments decided that it was our 'Moral Duty' to provide homes and social services and pensions to millions of people who have turned up on our shores from foreign lands and having not contributed throughout their lives to to the cost of our national future needs. In addition, why should the thrifty amongst us be robbed of the fruits of their lifetimes responsibility in order for these same politicians to give it away to foreign governments in aid? My conclusion is that we have all been been betrayed by our elected representatives! As usual, they are being very generous with other people's money while at the same time lining their own pockets!

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Mark Wadsworth

Mar 01, 2013 at 15:30

That's right, accuse me of creative accounting.

Fact - average age of social housing is (say) fifty years old.

Fact - the fabric of most of the buildings can be expected to last another fifty years.

Fact - local councils can borrow at real interest rates of plus minus nothing.

Fact - rents collected from the one-third who do pay rent tend to increase with wages (or inflation) in the long run. This more than compensates for any fall in value (wear and tear) of the building each year, and the "capital value" (the net present value of future rental income) increases with wages (or inflation).

So what do you think the "capital costs" are per unit per year? Tuppence? £100? £1,000? However you calculate it, it is not much. £50,000 at current rebuild costs divided by 100 years = £500 per year, you can knock that off as well if it makes you happy.

" if from our different views, all taxes and charges from Social payers are ring fenced to meet running costs of social housing"

Again, you are WILDLY MISQUOTING ME. Go back and read what I actually said. Look at the tables I prepared. Think about it before you just wildly misquote me AND THEN accuse ME of lying.

I cannot be bothered repeating for the third time what I actually said as you are clearly not interested. You are merely trying to score points rather than trying to find out anything new. I wonder why you bother. Unlike you I actually sat down one Saturday and trawled through all these statisics from various official sources and compiled it into a nice neat table before just making wild claims.

If the answer were that the taxpayer subsidises social housing, then I would be shouting it from the roof tops, but he doesn't.

What the taxpayer subsidises is PRIVATE RENTED housing, this is a huge cost to the taxpayer, that I complain about.

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Mark Wadsworth

Mar 01, 2013 at 15:34

"Expansion of numbers, new stock or degraded stock would require additional finance from where....if not right to buy sales, from rent increases from the 33% paying?"

You pay it out of future rents paid by tenants. Proper capital pays for itself out of the income it generates.

"you include only Council Tax for private owners and do not include their additional charges and costs, including mortgage and insurance."

Correct. Because That table does exactly what I said it does and summarises cash flows between households and government. How on earth is mortgage interest a payment to the government? (unless we had state banks - query is RBS a state bank?). Insurance Premium Tax on the other hand is clearly a tax and is included.

And why should I include repair and maintenance costs paid households? How on earth is that a payment to the government or a tax?

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Mar 02, 2013 at 10:54

I am a 'Baby boomer' and have never lived on benefits. I left school at 16 with no qualifications and have never been unemployed, I was always happy to do whatever job I could find. I am now a lone pensioner and own my own little flat outright, I have some savings as I don't beleive in being dependent on taxpayers. The thing that bothers me is the fact that if I get cancer in the next 10 years, I will not get the treatment that a younger person would get. I will just be told that because I am over 70, I must die. This is outrageous!! Free care on the NHS should not depend on age.

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Mar 02, 2013 at 11:46

I agree with Clive B, and I am a retired homeowner.

Saying I want to leave all my assetsand money to my children, but I want someone else's children to pay for my care is a disgraceful position to hold.

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Mar 02, 2013 at 11:51

But I also agree with ljmuk.

If the state (i.e other taxpayers) dont want to pay the cost of old peoples care they must as a pay the full costs of full and proper healthcare for older people

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Mar 02, 2013 at 21:39

From experience, Long Term Care should be renamed Long Term Neglect. I will happily sell my home if I can no longer function in it, but will I be able to use the proceeds of the sale to ensure I am looked after in a compassionate way? I doubt it very much.

My Uncle spent his last months in a home run by a failed property developer who trained his staff to bully the relatives into accepting that they would have to pay a “Top up” when his own funds ran out. The care he received was non-existent; they didn’t even provide a television aerial point in his room. After he died, but before we could remove his personal possessions, they used his room to store spare bedding. The family were being charged for the room until the end of the calendar month, so presumably they couldn’t let the room to a new ‘client’.

The CQC is a joke; their reports tell you nothing about the real experience of living in a home. Most “Care homes” are factories in which the elderly are the raw material and cadavers are the finished product. The object is to run the process at minimum cost. It doesn’t matter to them who’s paying.

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Anonymous 4 needed this 'off the record'

Mar 03, 2013 at 09:26

Why don't builders start constructing large family homes with granny flats properly designed and built into them? Lifts, where needed, OAP friendly bathrooms etc?

Granny and offspring sell their homes and buy the purpose built accommodation; if granny then needs to go into care the home cannot be sold because it no longer belongs solely to granny and in any case there is a family member living in it.

When granny dies, sell the 'large family home' and downsize.

Would this work?

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jim grassick

Mar 03, 2013 at 11:53

let NI pay for care homes, and we can all pay for a health service, directly, when we are ill. This will ensure that those in work pay as they go, and don't fritter their money away, expecting us to pick up their old age bill.

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Peter Paddon

Mar 03, 2013 at 13:22

Anonymous 4.

I suspect that potential pitfalls are the 7 year gift survival and capital deprivation rules. The answer may be to move Granny in when young, fit and healthy but then you might need two Granny flats

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Ed the 5th

Mar 03, 2013 at 14:24

Nationalise ALL residential homes - instead of allowing millionaire-owners to make vast profits by overcharging residents & underpaying staff.

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Mark Wadsworth

Mar 03, 2013 at 14:33

Ed the 5th, there is no need to nationalise housing itself, it would be quite sufficient to get rid of taxes on earnings, profits and output and replace it with a tax on the annual rental value of land. If we spend some of that on universal entitlement to long term care, well that's absolutely fine. And what's left over after necessary or reasonable government spending can be dished out as Citizen's Income or Citizen's Pension.

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Peter Paddon

Mar 03, 2013 at 15:33

So if you live in a flat above the ground floor you pay no taxes?

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Mark Wadsworth

Mar 03, 2013 at 16:06

Nope. Consider several equal sized plots in the same street or in the same small area.

If one large plot is a detached house it pays (say) £10,000 a year. If the next large plot is divided into two with a semi-detached house on each, they pay £5,000 each. If the next plot is a block of 8 flats they pay £1,250 each. if the next block is a four storey office block, each office on one storey pays £2,500. If the next one is a huge shop on the ground floor with six flats above it, the shop pays £4,000 and the flats pay £1,500 each. if the next one is a car park, it pays £10,000 for the whole thing which the owner recoups out of parking charges for people who live in the flats, work in the shops and offices or visit the flats or shops as friends or as customers.

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Ed the 5th

Mar 03, 2013 at 16:07

Obviously - I was talking about residential CARE homes.

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Mar 03, 2013 at 16:52

Wadsworth - suspected it, now I'm sure you're a nutter!

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Mar 04, 2013 at 05:09

As I've mentioned before, the cost of care is extortionate. Greedy compamies stealing the taxpayers money because they can. Civil servants do not work in the real world of competitive markets, but they must be made aware they are being taken for a ride by these care companies.

I work full time abroad, thank god, and my accommodation and travel costs are £32k/pa. This includes 6 return flights @ £1.5k each, all food in 5 restaurants, laundry, daily cleaning (not Sundays), 24hour security, swimming pool, 2 indoor tennis courts, sports club, gym, a new comfortable apartment with fridge/cooker/microwave grill, 42" samsung tv + smaller flat screen in the bedroom and 36 channels of sh*t to choose from (Pink Ffloyd lyric!!).

Strip out the cost of flights and replace it with moderate care, there is no reason on earth that UK care costs should exceed £32k/pa all in.

I have worked for care home consultants and I can tell you no home I saw comes close to my overseas accommodation.

We have a lot of baby boomers who will fill these places, care homes should become the affordable housing schemes of the future. The government needs a programme to build its own facilities and, like council housing provide this service at a very low cost with no ridiculous out sourcing contracts. In fact, re-open proper school kithens and use these in the food chain.

Independant care home operators will then need to re-think their game!!!!!


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Mar 04, 2013 at 06:00

B#gger me!!!! I have just read a comment above from White Stick Follower! How on earth is a care home able to justify £1,700 a week, £88K/pa PLUS fees for actual CARE and an amenity fee of £6k - for what exactly - er, sweet FA, or because they can???

This is nearly 4 times my FULL TIME (365 days/year) residential overseas accommodation costs (see previous post). Does it have a gym, suana, steam room, swimming pool, endless supply of towels, daily carvery, pasta station, grille, salad bar, wood burning pizza oven, steak night, curry night, a choice of desserts, tea, coffee and all bottled water (still or sparkling)??

This is where these companies are taking the p1ss, and this needs clamping down on by government law!! It cannot be justified and the sooner our civil servants wake up to this fact the better!!!

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Mar 04, 2013 at 08:45


If the above was available at a reasonable cost in old folks homes, I would be shopping around now to see which one I was going to!

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P A Williams

Mar 04, 2013 at 09:13

You are quite right Rightcharlie1 but the UK is different you see, a mature economy with mature politicians and a civil service that only understands one approach to business - REGULATE - then if it does'nt work or fails the most complex Human Rights and Health and Safety Legislation in the world just Regulate some more - eventually the industry sector dies or moves overseas.

Just look at what is left of the primary and productive industries in the UK and only today it is announced that the number of people working for the new Financial Regulator has just increased to 4,000 - so they can pour even more REGULATATION on the financial sector. Over the next two years this sector will move aboard. Fact in London last year 317,000 city jobs were lost.

If I were you RightCharlie1 I would just enjoy what you have managed to obtain and watch this bust over Regulated country slid even further down the global economic league tables.

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Mar 04, 2013 at 09:32

I have thought that people of similar age, rather than put fortunes into the hands of these grasping care home landlords and companies could pool their funds, form a cooperative, buy a property, employ care staff, and move in. When they die, their share could pass to their relatives.

High standards could be maintained, and legacies passed to children.

Aging loved ones and their families win, sharks lose.

It needs someone with expertise to assist organising it, someone like Saga.

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Peter Paddon

Mar 04, 2013 at 09:57

Isn't SAGA just another commercial company selling products?

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Mark Wadsworth

Mar 04, 2013 at 10:04


Mar 04, 2013 at 10:13

Good comment Mark!


I can see a problem when you die and your 50 year old son/daughter wants to realise their inheritance. It would have to pass to them as a prospective home for them in their old age and they would have to rent it out for 20 or 30 years to some other oldie in the meantime. Could get a bit complicated. Good idea though.

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Mark Wadsworth

Mar 04, 2013 at 10:23

LJMUK, I'm trying to turn off the function that sends all follow-up comments to my email address. I thought I'd try leaving a comment and unticking the box below, but it didn't work. I shall have to try something more radical next.

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Mike Greenland

Mar 04, 2013 at 10:28

One of the major problems with care home costs is that those who pay for them selves subsidise the local authority ones. Not only have you paid tax on your money to pay the bill but there is another TAX to subsidise others. Outrageous

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Mark Wadsworth

Mar 04, 2013 at 10:40

Mike, we seem to have gone round the clock here. From the various comments, I get the impression that old people who have landed massive windfall gains on their houses want to have their care paid for by the taxpayer, but they expect old people who didn't strike house price gold to pay for care themselves.

"MoneyObserver" is a notable and noble exception to this.

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White Stick follower

Mar 04, 2013 at 11:08

@Rightcharlie 1,

I forgot to mention that residents are allowed a glass of wine with dinner- at no extra cost!! The rooms include a little kitchenette - not much use to the immobile & infirm, so that residents can make themselves cups of tea etc.

The £6,000 is for the provision & maintenance of the gardens and communal areas. If the new resident were to die within a few days of moving in this chain will generously refund the £6,000.

The one I visited is conveniently located between a busy A road and a used car sales site and close to a motorway link road- indeed from the upper floors you can even view the busy motorway- at no extra cost. The chain of these homes is growing rapidly, and includes accommodation for couples if needed. I dread to think what those costs, although in other homes it would be regarded as 'shared' and thus cheaper.

There is another one of this chain close to where I live which also sits very alongside another main arterial road- so convenient, and offers the attraction of watching the cars racing by- and residents can sit in the car park or on the front grass for a better look and breathe in the local atmosphere.

These homes are significantly dearer than BUPA, and as a matter of interest my Aunt (see above), is paying about £300 per week more than a very impressive top class British Legion Home into which another Aunt has now moved, albeit this is in the South West of UK. Aunt No 2 who is mobile nearly fell off of her chair (figuratively speaking) when I mentioned Aunt No 1's rent.

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Mar 04, 2013 at 12:53

Returning to my idea of setting up your own 'Care Co-operative' to guarantee high care standards and to keep the 'family legacy' in the family and away from the Care Sharks.

I am sure there would be a big demand for such a vehicle and there would certainly be a huge amount of money available from sold homes.

I think the level of demand would ensure the enevitable difficulties of this, as with any new idea, would be ironed out.

As regards the two difficulties that have already been raised.

PROFESSIONAL ASSISTANCE with set-up. This would be necessary and have to be paid for. If Saga or any other organisation could organise itself to provide a standardised service for such demand it might acheive economies of scale.


Although the suggestion is 'co-operative' in spirit, in actuality I think the each individual co-operative care enterprise would have to be set up as a private limited company, with shares owned solely by the 'residents'.

Existing shareholders would have to approve all proposed new shareholders.

Maybe only those with an immediate need to enter care could become shareholders so there could be no renting out by the deceased family benificiaries.

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Peter Paddon

Mar 04, 2013 at 13:25

I suspect that there would be considerable financial difficulties in setting up a viable co-op concept.

Some would be residents may be reliant on selling a home before being able to fund their part of the set up costs. Some may die part way through the set up, leaving a hole in the overall finances. Then there would need to be someone to manage the build, look after the finances, arrange the legal side etc and they would all need paying. Pretty soon you've got the framework of a commercial enterprise and all that goes with that.

Good idea but too many practical problems.

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Mar 04, 2013 at 16:45

Hello Peter Paddon

re "I suspect that there would be considerable financial difficulties in setting up a viable co-op concept."

I would counter from my previous entry :-

"I am sure there would be a big demand for such a vehicle and there would certainly be a huge amount of money available from sold homes.

I think the level of demand would ensure the enevitable difficulties of this, as with any new idea, would be ironed out."

Do you not think that the volume of money/demand could result in

"more tenacious " solutions being pursued by "facilitator organisations"

e.g someone like Saga findinding a new income stream from advisor/facilitator status - the market is enormous.

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Peter Paddon

Mar 05, 2013 at 00:37

Hi MoneyObserver

I certainly think that facilitator organisations might be interested, but then you would lose many of the benefits of a Co-Op. Maybe a social enterprise might come into the picture but like Saga won't be doing it for free. They would need a commercial return

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Peter Paddon

Mar 05, 2013 at 00:40

I should have added, that it's a bit like a self build scheme (of which several have existed and maybe are still active) where people pool resources and skills to build their own houses.

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Mar 12, 2013 at 03:35

White stick follower: Wow a glass of wine, 4 to the bottle that's almost 2 bottles a week @ £10!! And if every resident is paying £6k for gardening then I think I'll become their gardener!! And those views sound lovely, with a nice cup of afternoon tea!! Quite feankly, it is appalling and something needs to be done at the risk of more regulation...........

And Mr PA Williams, you are quite right. I worked for a care home undergoing refurb, the council inspectors had regulations for everything. One said a room was not fit for wheelchair use because if you measured from the skirting board the dimenson of the room was 1" less than it should be, but wall to wall it was ok as was access in out and to the bathroom. None the less, the room was re-modelled. But, 2 floors, 24 rooms to a floor, they were not bothered, now I see why!

I should point out I now work in Oil and Gas. I make this point because the hotel/appartment chain know this and charge what I consider to be almost Western costs. And it includes gardening, maintenance and snow clearing services!!!

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White Stick follower

Mar 12, 2013 at 10:39


Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it was only 6 glasses to the bottle- wouldn't want the residents getting too merry! As for the £6k arrival fee per resident to maintain amenities like the garden and er..perhaps the car park? But, I must be fair- if the new resident dies within a few days of admission the £6k is refunded-although the room rent goes on for one month, to allow for relatives to remove personal property and for room cleaning. However the extra rent is not charged if the resident gives 2 months notice of departing to wherever.

By the way the particular home in this chain which I visited is indignant that despite 2 CQC inspections over the past couple of years it still fails to meet the 3 Star criteria in 3 areas and has only been awarded 2 stars. The manager told me that the CQC teams don't understand the industry. Main problem insufficient staff to meet the needs of residents. I have not physically checked out the 2nd one of this chain, which is local to me- but I have driven past it where it sits so conveniently on the side of a main trunk road.

I visited another home- recommended by my relative's local PCT and NOT part of the above chain, much smaller and privately owned & run, in which I would not accommodate my dog. That had 3 CQC stars and charged £787 per week. The INTERIOR had more fences, bars, chains and locks than some prisons- and I have visited a number in my career- NOTE only visited, not been resident. Other than the bed bound all of whom seemed comatose, the men in the 'Lounge' all sat blankly watching one TV whilst the women all sat watching another all equally oblivious of everything. The group of carers stood well away from the residents happily chatting amongst themselves. I used the staff & visitors 'loo' and found broken porcelain sanitary ware which had been badly stuck together, with some sort of sealant, still leaving obvious fractures. So much for hygiene !! But I must have missed a few attractions as it was rated 3 stars as I have said. But no residents made any complaints whilst I was there- indeed none said anything. Obviously the ancient films that they were watching were so gripping that they did not notice my wife and I being shown round.

However the home in which my relative now lives is excellent, very high care standards, many properly qualified staff on duty at all times and the owners meet with the staff weekly and make themselves available to relatives to discuss any concerns. The owners also have weekly meetings with residents to discuss complaints, entertainment, outings etc. Good meals produced on site in kitchens which are visible and open for inspection. My relative is very content- her varying dementia is well handled on 'bad' days. My sisters & I visit regularly using the home's 'any time' policy. When my relative passes away the rent will be claimed until the room is cleared of personal possessions- which won't take long. So not all Care Homes are bad.

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David Kempton: my outrage at Beaufort fallout

by David Kempton on May 24, 2018 at 09:35

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