NFOP Conference not impressed by a possible Death Tax
The National Federation of Occupational Pensioners (NFOP) held their Annual General Meeting and Annual Conference on Tuesday 5th and Wednesday 6th April 2016 in Southport. 120 Delegates attended representing 58 local Branches to discuss matters of importance to the Membership of NFOP. Motion 1 raised the possibility of developing a workable ‘death tax’ to pay for the ever escalating costs of care.
It was unanimously agreed that both the NHS and care were under funded and the experiments and efforts to integrate only go so far in addressing the current problems.
It appears that the provision of care in privately owned care homes will only be available to ‘self –funders’ (those paying their own fees) or where there is a guarantee that the family will meet the difference between the local authority funding and the homes fees. The reality of the value of the family home and all the personal assets of those needing care still looms large.
The Dilnot Report recommended setting a cap on care fees and although warmly welcomed it still left the ‘hotel costs’ uncovered, which were estimated to be in the region of £14,000 per year. When the proposals were brought forward the cap was set at £72,000. What constituted expenditure to reach that figure was the amount the local authority would pay to provide that care. Any plan to introduce the cap has been pushed back to 2020 at the earliest and sadly may remain forgotten by government.
The suggestion was that instead of the individual being responsible for meeting care costs or receiving local authority support, care would be provided free to all who need it; the cost of providing the care being met by the introduction of a tax on every individual’s estate, regardless of whether they received care. This would remove the need for individuals having to use their own assets to provide for their care. It would not prevent individuals from supplementing payments to receive better accommodation.
The overwhelming feeling was that the watered down version of Dilnot should be introduced immediately.