Sunday, 14 February 2010

Britain is no country for old men who have become ' politically explosive'
I listened to a programme on Radio 4 this morning called 'Broadcasting House' which deals with the political issues which have arisen in the week. This week it was the care of old people in Britain with Andy Burnham, the Health Secretary calling and emergency conference to discuss how to fund free care at home for the elderly.

The commentator said that this week : " The whole issue of health care in old age, became so much more politically explosive ".

The Chief Political Correspondent came on and made the points that :

* Reform of the long term of the elderly had been a 'backwater'.

* Last Autumn the Prime Minister said there would be free care for the most needy.

* Cash-strapped Local Councils were outraged.

* David Cameron piled in this week to say : " It is Labour Councils telling the P.M. his policy doesn't add up".

Dame Joan Bakewell said in the House Of Lords : " I think it highly regrettable that political interests have stepped in where this serious issue was being discussed by serious men with old people at heart".
The correspondent said : " At least long term care is no longer political back water".

And the Richard Reeves, the Director of the 'Think Tank' called 'Demos' came on and made these points, from which you can draw your own conclusions :

* More people will need more care and the big question is how to pay for it.

* The only fair answers is to make pensioners sell their own homes to pay for their own care.

* Labour promise to pay elderly people to have care in their own homes will cost £1,000,000,000 and this is money they don't have.

* Baby boomers who will need the care have "done pretty well for themselves out of the property market and their assets should be sold to pay for their care, even if it means that their children miss out on juicy tax free inheritances".

* The alternative of paying for care from general taxation would be unfair with a cleaner earning £9,000 a year paying for someones care, so that "they can pass on their house worth half a million quid to their children".

* "Inherited money is the least morally deserving unrelated to any effort or talent on the part of the recipient".

* Protecting the rights of affluent people to "slosh their money down to the next generation" should not be a high priority for a Labour Government.

* The younger generation " worried about their inheritance" should step in and provide care for their parents themselves, rather than expect the State to step in.

* " Britons are obsessed with bricks and mortar, but this madness has to stop".

* " I'm sorry Mum and Dad, But you'll have to sell the house".


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