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How should we fund Social Care?

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  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 29,946
    I keep hearing there are over a million empty properties in UK. 
    Devon.
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 7,091
    Wasn't well set up. Remember my late father having to take a bridging loan for IT  from his father. Only child but he re married 6 weeks before he died! Have lived in a caravan,and had a house repossessed and lived in emergency accomodation,thanks
  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 4,920
    Dad had a reasonable pension (from the NHS) and some small savings. When Mum died and Dad had to go into a residential home, I carefully invested his savings to get some income and rented out his (very modest) house. Together with his pension the income generated was covering his costs for the three years he lived. I don't know how long that would have been sustainable - 5 years perhaps, before the care costs - which were going up much faster than his pension or rents - would have begun to eat into his capital. The IFA that helped me was monitoring the costs of annuities and we had agreed that if the return from the investments fell below the threshold of his outgoings, we'd have to buy an annuity (which would have meant I wouldn't have inherited that money). That might have lasted another 3 years or so. After that I would have sold the house and covered a few more years. Presumably after that he'd have had to move into a place that the council could fund. 

    Dad may have resented having to pay, if he'd known about it, but it seemed fair enough to me that we had to work his accumulated assets to cover his own costs. I had no right to inherit the house or his savings at the taxpayers expense. 

    Had Mum still been alive it would have been a completely different problem. We couldn't have rented out or sold the house while she was living in it, and I would have minded very much her having to give up her home - it was hardly a mansion. All the rules that are made have this flaw that they are expected to be a universal 'one size fits all' answer, when the reality is complex and there are many different circumstances.

    And what about 20 or 30 years from now, when no one has a decent pension and few pensioners own a house? 
    “There is no military solution
    Doesn't always end up as something worse”
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 26,700
    Yes @Fire but the available housing stock is mostly away from the high pressure areas of the south east which is why it's sort of good that the government is moving some departments oop north.   There also needs to be a lot more imaginative thinking about converting old buildings - factories, office blocks etc - to housing rather than demolishing them - so much waste and carbon release too.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • steveTusteveTu Posts: 1,590
    I'm not sure this isn't all part of a pension. It seems that what we need to get to is a funding mechanism where everyone of us funds our retirement - and that includes an allowance for social care.
    The gov (or recent govs) seem to be moving away from the State Pension to private pensions (personally, I'm not in favour of that, as it seems to me the money paid in dividends should be used within the system). Irrespective though, if you assume you want the minimum 'living' wage for your retirement, then you'll need circa £20k x 25 years (maybe more over the ensuing years), plus an allowance for social care (4 years @ circa £50k+?). If you assume your pension would fund part of that if in full time care, then 4x£30k ish. So roughly £600k per person saved/taxed over a working life of 45+years - which I think looks like £500 per month @ about 3% over the 45 years.
    It's no mean amount is it? Even worse if you look at how life expectancy has grown even since the 50s or if you need extended social care over more than a few years.
    The benefit of it being a private scheme, is that potentially the individual would have more control over how the pot is spent (maybe with a protected rights type amount - where you (or your descendants) couldn't spend the amount accrued for social care until death) - the drawback is that that excess money is lost to an accumulated national pot.
    UK - South Coast Retirement Campus (East)
  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 4,920
    Obelixx said:
    Yes @Fire but the available housing stock is mostly away from the high pressure areas of the south east which is why it's sort of good that the government is moving some departments oop north.   There also needs to be a lot more imaginative thinking about converting old buildings - factories, office blocks etc - to housing rather than demolishing them - so much waste and carbon release too.
    Actually, there's a vast amount of empty property in the south east - those big blocks of flats along the River Thames are nearly all more than half empty most of the time - bought as an investment by people who own several other homes around the world and used once a year for Christmas shopping trips.

    The planning rules around change of use from commercial to residential have been relaxed; what actually happens is you get cowboys doing it really badly because no one is checking the quality of the conversion so they are producing seriously sub-standard accommodation without daylight or proper ventilation. It's not easy to do well. Sticking in a few partitions and some domestic furniture really doesn't answer.

    The housing market in the UK is 'ringed' by the big developers. It is fundamentally not in their interest to build more than they do - too much on the market and prices will drop and they make less. Given that most of them have Conservative MPs and peers as major shareholders, you can rely on this not changing. The only way to unlock it would be for councils to go back to building, but with a few exceptions in London, that's a rare thing. Mostly they just contract with the same big developers to provide the housing. Who then use viability clauses to change the rules once in contract and deliver a fraction of the affordable homes they originally signed up for. Over and over again - the same process. the councils have the collective memory of a goldfish 'oh - there's a pretty castle'. They never seem to learn. 
    “There is no military solution
    Doesn't always end up as something worse”
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 5,736
    I don't have an answer to the best (most effective) or fairest way of doing it.  All I do know is that the massive shortfall in funding has to be filled and that can only be done by taxation in one form or another.  Lower the start point for higher rate tax?  That would only affect higher paid but I doubt it would raise anything like enough.
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 5,736
    According to direct.gov child benefit is NOT means tested it says you can elect to stop receiving it at 50k,but are still eligible

    Yes you can claim it but, as I understand it, it is clawed back 100% by HMRC.
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 5,736
    punkdoc said:
    There are far more old people than there used to be, and the number is likely to continue rising.
    Everyone has to pay, pensioners can no longer say we have paid all our lives, why should we pay now [ I speak as someone in receipt of a pension ]
    Progressive taxation seems the only fair way to me, and far stiffer penalties for tax evasion.

    I'm also a pensioner and continue to pay tax on my pensions.  I am contributing towards the costs of everything.
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