Rarely, if ever, has a political party included such a depraved policy in their election manifesto, but in 2017 the Tories decided to cross the Rubicon by announcing a policy of thumping dementia sufferers with a wealth extraction tax to pay for their own social care.
The new Tory policy is to give the financial services industry the opportunity to administer the asset stripping of elderly people who are unfortunate enough to end up with dementia, physical infirmities or other conditions that require social care.
If the elderly person is deemed to have assets worth over £100,000 (the average house price in the UK is £215,000) then they will be treated as if they are rich and made to pay their own social care costs, even though they payed a lifetime of National Insurance contributions to cover the cost of health and social care in their old age.
The Tories have ever-so-kindly said that the elderly people won't have to sell their homes immediately in order to cover the costs, but that they can get "equity release" products so that the wealth can be extracted from the value of their homes after they die.
Creating a new market
One of the obvious beneficiaries of this policy will be the financial services industry who will get to design and market these "equity release" products.
A consideration of the root cause of the social care problem just goes to show how depraved this is. Here's a simple timeline of events.
- The financial services industry gambles itself into insolvency betting on all kinds of dodgy sub-prime mortgage junk.
- The Labour government steps in to save the banks and avert financial catastrophe by borrowing hundreds of billions to prop up the banks and salvage the nose-diving economy.
- The Tories use this high level of borrowing as an excuse to launch their ideological austerity agenda, and set about slashing government spending.
- One of the worst affected areas is social care which suffers £4.6 billion in Tory cuts (at a time of rising demand).
- The Tories announce a plan to force pensioners to pay for their own social care by asset stripping the value of their homes.
- The financial services industry are handed a lucrative new "equity release" market to profit from, and the Tory press describe this kind of corporate equity extraction scheme as if it's some kind of wonderful favour to the elderly that they're being allowed to live in their own house as its equity is harvested away by the banks that screwed the economy in the first place!
It's funny how the Tories can afford to squander £billions in tax revenue by slashing the corporation tax rate from 28% in 2010 to just 17% in 2020, but they're dressing this Dementia Tax up as some kind of necessary evil.
The cost of these corporation tax cuts stacks up to a mind-boggling £70 billion giveaway to corporations between 2015 and 2020, but somehow they're telling us we're so broke that we can't even afford to look after our elderly people when they get ill in their old age.
Don't ever let the Tories try to convince you that social care can't be afforded. It can. They just don't want to pay for it because they see elderly people's houses as rich pickings.
The pro-Tory mainstream media have worked tirelessly to actually try and dress this depraved policy up as a good thing, but there's no other way of seeing it than as a move to asset strip elderly people for the "crime" of falling ill in their old age.
These elderly people have paid tax and National Insurance their whole lives, while working hard to save and buy their own homes. Now "Theresa May's Team" have decided that they don't actually deserve the health and social care that they paid for through their taxes because the Tories and their chums see their homes as lucrative low-hanging fruit to be harvested in order to fund even more tax breaks for corporations and the super rich.
Making people fund their own social care by asset stripping them is a theft of all of those years of National Insurance contributions.
Once upon a time a fresh faced Tory MP called George Osborne appeared on the Daily Politics and advised a caller that it's easy for rich people to get the taxpayer to pay for their social care if they set up tax-dodging scams to hide their assets.
This self-serving Tory mentality has not changed.
Selfish "I'm alright Jack" types will skirt around the Tory Dementia Tax in exactly the way that George Osborne advised, while ordinary people who worked their whole lives to buy their house and wouldn't dream of setting up tax-dodging scams will be the ones to be hit by it.
People who didn't buy their own property won't be hit by it, people who see no moral problem with tax-dodging schemes won't be hit by it. The only people to be hit by Dementia Tax will be the hard-working people who are naive enough to actually behave honestly and play by the rules in Tory Britain.
It's hard to tell if the Tories decided to launch such a depraved policy in the middle of dementia awareness week out of sheer incompetence, or whether it's their sick idea of a joke.
Whatever the case, a plot to allow the financial services industry to asset strip dementia sufferers has to be one of the most inhumane manifesto pledges ever devised.
Still. Millions of people are going to go out and vote Tory because they see the corporate administered asset stripping of dementia sufferers as a price worth paying for whatever (almost certainly imaginary) benefit they think they'd personally get from a Tory government.
What we can do
- Make sure you are registered to vote so that you can vote against this depraved Tory plan to hit dementia sufferers with a wealth extraction tax.
- Spread awareness. If you have elderly parents, grandparents, friends or relatives make sure they understand the depravity of this Tory plan to milk the assets of elderly people in order to fund their tax cuts for corporations and the super-rich. Feel free to share this article on social media, email it, print it off on paper if you think it will help ...
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