‘Conservatives score massive own goal as they punish pensioners’ say Labour

The announcement that if Conservatives are voted back into government, pensioners will need to surrender the value of those homes to meet care costs could well have sent shock waves through the retired population of the Isle of Wight today.

monopoly and cash

Isle of Wight Labour share this latest as part of the 2017 general election campaign. Ed


Labour Candidate on the Isle of Wight, Julian Critchley, said today that the Conservatives appeared to be trying to help Labour close the polling gap by attacking their own key voting group: pensioners.

As part of their manifesto, the Conservatives unveiled new plans to include the value of pensioners’ homes when deciding eligibility for help with care costs.

Surrendering homes to meet care costs
As 75% of pensioners own their own homes, this essentially means that far more pensioners will need to surrender the value of those homes to meet their care costs.

Mr Critchley said

“It really is remarkable that the Tories have announced this policy, which will hit the great majority of pensioners very hard indeed. It effectively means that pensioners requiring care support will no longer be able to pass the value of their homes on to their families.

“Coming hard on the heels of the Tories’ abandonment of the triple-lock on pension value, and their manifesto commitment to remove the winter fuel allowance from most pensioners, this is a concerted attack on pensioners as a group.

“Considering that pensioners have traditionally been a heavily Tory-leaning group of voters, this is either a catastrophic misjudgement, or remarkable complacency on the part of Theresa May. Frankly, I can hardly believe our luck. It’s a massive own goal by the Tories.

“This election is now the clearest choice this country has seen in decades, between a Labour Party which guarantees no tax rises for anyone earning less than £80,000, and a Tory Party which is squeezing young people, working people, and now pensioners, to pay for huge tax cuts for their corporate friends.”

Image: TaxRebate under CC BY 2.0

Thursday, 18th May, 2017 9:00pm

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Filed under: Election, Government, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Politics, Top story

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Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

37 Comments

  1. Suruk the Impolite


    18.May.2017 9:45pm

    What it will mean, in practice, is people making sure they blow everything over £100k before the Government get their grubby mitts on it.

    Cruises, flashy cars, luxury holidays, etc.

    You can’t take it with you, and now, thanks to Mrs May, you can’t pass it on to your kids, so you may as well enjoy it while you are still fit enough to do so.

    • Phil Jordan


      19.May.2017 10:19am

      sti:

      Actually, it doesn’t mean that and is, in fact far more serious.
      For the first time ever, your home will be taken into account for asset calculations during any financial assessment for social care provision (still not the case for ‘continuing – ie, health – care provision however).
      Until this changes, you home is excluded from financial calculations (if you or your partner/spouse live in it) and concentrates on all other assets up to a sum of £23,250 … at which point you will not be legible for any free state social care provision (sliding scale of personal contributions up to £23,250).

      Since, in general, many/most people who have need of social care will be of an age (again, generally, not entirely) where and when their homes will be mortgage free, the total value of their home will be added to their asset value meaning that it is likely there will be hundreds of thousands of pounds of assets. (the average house price in England is around £235,000 currently).

      Spending that asset is very difficult because it is intrinsically where you live so to realise ‘cash’ you most likely would have to sell your home and move to ‘rented’ accommodation. If its moving into residential care you really are stuck because the local authority will place a charge on the property for the full cost of your care until such a time as your ‘notional’ assets falls below the limit (proposed at £100,000).
      If you attempt to dispose of your property at ANY time, the local authority have the power to go back as far as they wish to include the value of the disposal into your ‘notional’ assets.

      The whole issue is incorporated in what is known as ‘Deprivation of Assets’ and is not only complex but comes with much case law already in place. (just to dispel one myth here: the often thought of disposal of assets within seven years rule applies only to Inheritance Tax and NOT deprivation of assets).

      So, for example, Yule v South Lanarkshire Council [1999] 1 CCLR 546 sets out in law the ability of local authorities to go as far back as they wish on asset disposals.

      In addition, the Care Act 2014 gives local authority powers to reclaim care fees from the (family?) person you transferred your home to.

      Under Derbyshire CC v Akrill [2005] EWCA Civ 308 the Courts have the power to ‘restore the position to a point which would have been the case had the *gift* (or transfer) had not been made.

      Anyway, it is a complex area and one that changes the position (from previously) on your own home and enters into a legal morass of deprivation of assets which can go back to another time in your life when you were (even…) young and healthy.

      This whole situation hits certain people much harder than others and will result in social engineering over generations as people (and companies) set up lifelong property holding vehicles to reduce their ‘notional assets’.

      Any rational person with any sense of the extent of these measures and is in a position to buy and own their own home (at ANY moment in their lifetime) would, in my view, be absolutely stark raving bonkers to support these proposals and/or take any action that *might* lead to their introduction ….such as voting for the political party that are proposing them.

      I would also suggest that second generation children who might have one eye on their ‘proposed’ inheritance might be thinking about explaining very seriously to their parents what the support and vote for such proposals will lead to.

      Far from thinking you can avoid these charges and costs and spend your assets in an elderly ‘bucket list’ fashion whilst still on this earth people are going to pay heavily for all of the years they ‘may’ have struggled to purchase a home for themselves and their families with little, or no, chance to avoid the inevitable.

      This proposal is very much social engineering that strikes at the heart of the presently held aspirational norm where around 75% of people own their own homes. It does appear to be inequitable for many reasons and should be rejected , in my view, at the ballot box.

      • Suruk the Impolite


        19.May.2017 10:58am

        I’m well aware that my home is up for grabs and I would, indeed, sell up.

        As for the bucket list thing? I fail to see what the Government can do if I sell my home and blow the lot on said “bucket list” before I require any care. You appear to be talking about “gifting” assets to descendents. I’m talking about blowing it on holidays. Good luck to the IWC grabbing my money back from P&O and Cunard.

        Mind you, I’m not going to need to be making such decisions for another 15 years, so, hopefully, the Electorate will come to its senses by then

        • Phil Jordan


          19.May.2017 11:46am

          sti:

          I really do urge you to research ‘deprivation of assets’.

          • Phil Jordan


            19.May.2017 12:02pm

          • Suruk the Impolite


            19.May.2017 12:28pm

            **”Your local authority must show you knew that you may need care and
            support in the future when you carried out this action. It is therefore an
            evidence based test of foreseeability and intention. “***

            In other words it would be very difficult for a fit an health person with no reason to believe they *may* require long term care who decides to blow their estate *in case* they may need long term care to be caught by this.

            Unless the assumption is that *everyone* will be expected to need long term care? In which case, when does this start, when you are 70? 60? 50? 40? That assumtion is clearly ludicrous and would not stand up in court.

          • Phil Jordan


            19.May.2017 1:30pm

            you missed out this bit:

            “For the Local Authority to take action, they would need to show that your intention at the time of disposal was to exclude the property from means testing to avoid care fees. **It is usually quite difficult to provide evidence of your intention** and in absence of adequate evidence, the judge may reach the conclusion that the transfer was to avoid means testing.”

            ….but leave it with you.

            The evidence and legislation is there, the case law exists and you can decide how you arrange your affairs in any way you wish.

      • Stewart Blackmore


        19.May.2017 8:07pm

        Sounds like you may be voting Labour, Phil? If so, welcome.

  2. I just read this comment on IWCP about the Island Tory MP nomination, and thought it was brilliant. Here it is, cut and pasted.

    A tax on dementia sufferers, and a person who considers killing foxes for fun is normal and an enjoyable past time. The thousands of Tory voters on the Island will lap this up and vote him in anyway. They want the poor, the sick, the disabled and the vulnerable to suffer, and he’s one of many to agree with this. Humanity? It’s gone. Long gone. Cuts for pensions, social care, the NHS and our schools. Cutting free school meals. Our Council backs these policies up with glee. What a sick bunch of people we have living on this Island. I’m ashamed of everyone that votes for him and his party. You should all be ashamed. But you won’t be. You are ignorant and self appreciating arrogant nasty people the lot of you. Welcome to Conservative Britain.

    • juliancritchley


      19.May.2017 12:31am

      I disagree. There are many, many people who vote Tory for a lot of reasons which aren’t about being “bad people”.

      Sure I disagree with Tory policies, and of course there are some things which are beyond the pale : bigotry, dishonesty or corruption. But such people are a minority of Tory supporters, and all parties have bad apples.

      The way to change the reality of a Tory government is to argue and persuade voters to support a Labour party with better policies. I doubt many people have ever changed their minds as a result of being abused; it more likely entrenches their position and closes their ears.

      I fear for the “culture wars” crossing the Atlantic, where two mutually hostile groups stare at each other with undisguised loathing across an unbridgeable divide. I don’t think we’re there yet. But the ease of insults on the internet (and an increasingly unhinged tabloid press) probably moves us closer to that benighted state.

  3. Don Smith


    19.May.2017 1:10am

    Yes! A typical own goal (So stupid) and with a large majority they will hit the venerable even harder in time.

    This Mrs May is another Thatcher, obviously with less common sense. Labour will do well, even with Mr Corbyn.

    • Suruk the Impolite


      19.May.2017 4:31am

      She comes across as more Marie Antoinette than Margaret Thatcher.

      Yes, I know the whole “let them eat cake” thing is apocryphal, but May repeatedly appears to be someone who doesn’t have a clue about the lives of normal folk.

      Folk who don’t wear £1000 leather trousers and diamond studded shoes.

  4. profoundlife


    19.May.2017 11:25am

    Better that someone aged 25 should pay a lot more tax so someone with a £1m house aged 75 gets free care? Really?

    • Suruk the Impolite


      19.May.2017 12:38pm

      This isn’t really about people in £1 million houses though, is it?

      Someone who can afford such a home will probably be able to afford their own care without breaking into their bricks-and-mortar assets.

      This is about people of ordinary means with modest homes in the £200,000 bracket.

    • DebbieUptheRoad


      19.May.2017 12:50pm

      The tax bill from the Tories last year – for a 25yr old earning eg £22,000 pa – increase of £112.00 income tax/ni PLUS council tax increase of 5%. Tories have been tight lipped about reserving the right to raise tax and NI again if they win…

      Compare with the 1p extra in tax to fund Lib Dems proposal – Equates to approx £100 extra tax per year. (on £22,000 yr)

      To be spent on – social care, primary care (and other out-of-hospital care), mental health and public health. I’m sure there are plenty of 25 yr olds who end up in St Mary’s after a night out, playing football or having routine ops, having babies etc. Sure they also have parents that need care too… or we could just let NHS rot as its doing now ?

      Also re property – not many seniors live in £1M properties – average house price for the Island is £229,000

      My prediction is that oap’s will imagine that they can downsize, still blow money on cruises & toyotas and have enough to pay for their private care without resorting to IWCC. The reality is that they may have many more years left than they think to plan for & the cost of care runs into 10’s of thousands, especially if they want to receive good quality care at home….

      • rossignol16


        20.May.2017 2:06pm

        People often stay in their homes for decades. In that time they pay off mortgages and end up owning their properties outright.

        Equity release can help some people to get extra funds out of their property but it is not necessarily straightforward and there is no such thing as a “free lunch” as someone has to pay.

        People can and do end up living in homes worth a considerable lot more than when they first purchased it whether using mortgage or not. But they can be “asset rich” and have low income from a state pension on which to live.

        And that is what I think is Mrs May’s message to these people that they can stay in their own homes until they die and then the State calculates how much their estate owes the State for State-provided care either in their own home or in a care home.

        I am not saying whether this is good or bad. Just that people can end up living n a very expensive property but actually be poor in terms of ready money. If Mrs May’s policy gets the green light then it will surely have to be done through insurers and banks.

        • Equity Release is a big con. Firstly they charge you about £700 just to set up the plan. They advertise to encourage the lender to spend the pittance on making alteration and improving their home – Just for the sharks to reap the benefit when you depart. Leave it alone.

          • Don, you are quite correct in saying avoid Equity Release if you possibly can, in my mothers case unknown at the time to myself the equity that was released actually doubled in 9 years.

  5. The LibDem policy is the most sensible; up front, honest and transparent, and an extra 1p on income tax will clearly raise a significant amount of money without risking significant adverse effects on the economy.

    As usual the Tories are trying to find cleaver ways of taking money from people that they hope are too complicated for most people to understand. If they are re-elected we are probably in for five years of stealth taxes as they try to balance the books.

    Under Labour everything will be free and business will pay for the lot. What could possibly go wrong?

  6. The only Parliamentary Candidate on the Isle of Wight to support the legalisation of FOX HUNTING is BOB SEELY the CONSERVATIVE candidate DO YOU WANT THIS CRUEL BARBARIC PAST-TIME TO RETURN? Use your vote to retain the BAN.

    • are you using capital letters to indicate that you are shouting?

      what part of ‘free vote’ do you not understand?

      what makes you so sure there will be more MP’s voting to restore the hunt than to retain the ban?

      • Suruk the Impolite


        24.May.2017 4:29pm

        What part of “Seely supports fox hunting and will vote for its return” do *you* not understand.

        The fact that it is a free vote is *irrelevant* as he will vote for the return of fox hunting if he is elected.

        A vote for Seely is a vote for the return of fox hunting.

        • so you’d rather bankrupt our children and our children’s children with Corbyn would you?

          • Suruk the Impolite


            25.May.2017 10:37am

            You’d rather see the NHS privatised and the police and prison services cut to the point that they can no longer fulfil their core roles, would you?

            Ask and doctor, nurse, paramedic, midwife, police officer or prison officer about the reality of serving in Tory Britain.

            Go ahead. Vote Tory, but don’t come crying to me when you call the police or an ambulance and none are available.

            Just die on your trolley in A&E like a good little Tory sheep and accept that its all for the Greater Good.

      • Sorrytr2015 – Not shouting, my old fingers get confused:-)

        I do suspect, like many that Mrs May expects a large majority. This is why Mrs May has selected many Tory candidates to stand for election all over the UK,(including Bob Seely), who do what they are told to do.

        Bob Seely was selected by central Tory office and Mrs May, and not by the IoW CP.

        She offered a free vote on this issue just to pacify the members of the Countryside Alliance; who still think that the countryside is their own private playground.

        .

  7. That’ll be a ‘yes’ then,

    no concern about balancing the books, spending only what we can afford, just swallow the labour guff about throwing borrowed money around like confetti and hang the consequences on our grandchildren.

    insult me all you like, but face up to the truth. labour have never left this country in anything but debt, then when the conservatives try to reduce that debt they are abused, just as you have just done.

    • Suruk the Impolite


      25.May.2017 3:18pm

      And your initial “what part of” epithet to Don Smith wasn’t insulting?

      You dish it out but don’t like getting it back, eh?

      The *truth* is that the Tories have had 7 years to put the books right. They failed, and give no indication that another 5 years of “we’re all in it together” austerity will benefit any other than their rich chums.

      And *do* try to use the reply link, deary. I know its a bit of a difficult concept to grasp, but give it a go, eh? We all might get a better clue as to what you are blathering on about.

    • Every Post war government has left a deficit. The only difference between Labour and Conservative governments is that Labour have always decreased or at least maintained the deficit during their tenure, while the Conservatives have ALWAYS increased it, they took over a 1k billion pound deficit from Labour in 2009 and have managed to increase it by 90% to 1.9K billion at the same time as cutting every major service.

      http://www.primeeconomics.org/articles/conservative-budget-deficits-on-average-theyre-twice-the-size-of-labours

  8. Billy Builder


    25.May.2017 2:17pm

    Whereas the Toies have spent the last 40 years (when in power) selling off the family silver to enable them to cut taxes for the rich and reduce support for the poor. And when there is no family silver left to give to the rich, run austerity programmes to hit the poor harder whilst maintaining cuts for the very rich.

    • no dear, I think you’ll find that was Gordon Brown – my phrase for him was ‘at least Dick Turpin had the decency to wear a mask’

      • Billy Builder


        25.May.2017 3:14pm

        silly me, I thought that it was Maggie Thatcher that sold off British Telecom, British Gas, the Water Boards, the Electricity Boards, closed the mines to import coal from Australia, closed the Shipyards, sold off/closed British Steel, sold off/closed British Layland. And it was John Major who sold off British Rail. The list could go on and on and on

  9. Don Smith


    25.May.2017 3:55pm

    Bob Seely is Mrs May’s puppet. Why else would a civilised person support legalising fox hunting once again
    ?

    Subsistence hunting is acceptable, but hunting (killing) for fun and trophies is disgusting and barbaric.

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