Most of us will never need very much care. Or, if we do, we’ll be looked after by our families rather than by the local Council. So, for most of us, the hysteria about a ‘dementia tax’ (it’s a great press headline, but not very realistic) is rather silly, because if we’re part of that majority then no-one will charge us anything, we won’t need to move house, and our children won’t face big bills after we die either.
Nor will anything change for people who pay for their own care directly, rather than getting it from their local Council. Or who get medical care provided by the NHS, which has always been free and will stay that way in future too.
The only changes will be for people who need extra care with non-medical things (like getting up, getting clean and dressed etc) where it is provided by the local Council. At the moment Councils charge for this care unless people have less than £23,000 savings, when it’s free. Under the new scheme, care will become free for anyone who has less than £100,000, so people will have more than four times as much to pass on to their children or grandchildren than before. And no-one will have to move out of their home if they don’t want to; it will only be sold if they decide they want to move, or after they die.
It will mean that it will always pay for people to do the right thing by saving for their retirement; they will have a better standard of living when they retire; they will be able to pay for extra care if they need and want it (many people don’t, or their family provides it anyway, but some do and Council-provided care is usually a no-frills package); and they will be able to pass on more money after they die if they want to, to their children or grandchildren as well.