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Why The Dementia Tax Is Making Me Feel A Little Bit Ill!



So, we are four days in from the release of the so -called 'Dementia Tax' announced by the Conservatives in an effort to fund the rising costs of social care in the UK. To try and round it up for you, they are saying that individuals will now be responsible for paying for their own social care needs out of their assets. For the first time your assets will now be calculated to include the value of your home. You could be liable to pay for all of the cost of your care down to your final £100,000, which will remain ring-fenced for you to then pass on to your children once you die.

Personally this policy feels a little bit like a rushed out, possible devised on the back of a snuff box in a chauffeured Bentley from no 10. There has clearly been little thought applied to the more far-reaching implications of this policy.

Why does it make me feel slightly nauseous? Well, firstly this could clearly be taken as the first step towards privatisation of health in this country. The fundamental departure from socialist values due to the individual responsibility of one's health. Yes, I'm aware that the NHS will still be picking up the bill of health care but social care and health care are so inextricably linked, it is not hard to see that this is a step in the wrong direction for anyone who holds dear the idea that everyone pays in and everyone benefits to prevent the financial ruin of individuals with complex health and social needs. That is the fundamental concept of the NHS when it was created and it is the back bone of any civilised society.

Particularly disgusting is the sheer lack of clarity that has been provided by the Conservatives. The complete shut down of any invitation to debate or provide more information has left many unsure of what fate will hold for them should they lose out in life's health lottery. It has been made clear that should you drop dead suddenly then well done you, your wealth will be protected and your children will receive all the assets you've built up. Should you be unlucky and develop one of the many complex and degenerative diseases that strike many in old age then you will be paying through the nose for that health mistake your body has made!

The fact that this has been dubbed the 'Dementia Tax' though is not helpful when it comes to measuring the true cost of the policy. Once again the disabled of our country will be taking a hit but it's only the elderly that are being highlighted by the media interest surrounding this story. Thanks again to the lack of clarity provided by the Tories, we are left to simply wonder, what will happen to those who get ill when they're still relatively young? With a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis under my belt aged 27 years old, my future is already one that is filled with both uncertainty and the realisation that I may be one of those unlucky ones in receipt of social care before I even reach the midway point of my life! Yes, the knowledge that there would be something to pass on to future family is a good thing but the knowledge that every year you could be spending thousands of your children's future pot of gold is not. The individual responsibility of the cost of care will instantly make people consider whether it is worth carrying life on. They will feel like a burden. This is what is really sickening and wrong with the policy; the sense of guilt that the elderly and the sick will feel by simply being alive.

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