Updated: Sep 11, 2021
Is this finally the end of neo-liberal Thatcherite economics and the return to a post-war monopolistic state? With a government headed up by this Prime Minister one can never tell given his chameleon-like quality of adapting both manner and message to whichever audience he happens to be addressing.
The decision to capitulate to producer interests inside the NHS on the matter of social care is arguably one of the most disgraceful surrenders by any Chancellor and Prime Minister in living memory according to Allister Heath.
Writing in today's Telegraph, he lays bare the extent of that betrayal. His words are damning:
"Shame on Boris Johnson, and shame on the Conservative Party. They have disgraced themselves, lied to their voters, repudiated their principles and treated millions of their supporters with utter contempt. And for what?
To momentarily wrong-foot Sir Keir Starmer? To steal Labour’s clothes, not for a greater purpose but because it’s easier than actually devising their own conservative policies to improve Britain? To pat themselves on the back, and boast of how brilliant they are at the Machiavellian, unprincipled game of Blair or Osborne-style triangulation politics? To further convince the electorate that every politician is only in it for themselves, for their ministerial cars, for the pathetic pretend power? Is this why all those Cabinet ministers joined the Tory party, and penned all those paeans to free enterprise and low taxes? To be complicit in the moral destruction of the Conservative Party?
This is a seminal moment in British politics, one that could turn out to be as toxic, as poisonous and as destructive as the ERM crisis, the Iraq dossier or the bank bailouts. The damage wreaked by the Government’s juvenile approach to policymaking will be immense and long-lasting, even if it doesn’t immediately register in opinion polls. Promising not to raise or to cut taxes was always the one weapon Labour couldn’t match, the most powerful way to remind voters that the socialists would steal their money; now any such pledge would remind voters that the Tories are utterly untrustworthy."
The full article can be read here with a link to the original beneath it:
As an addendum to the above, we include former Secretary of State for Pensions Peter Lilley's proposals for an alternative to the tax-funded proposals currently being put before Parliament.
His proposal amounts to a state-backed insurance scheme where the state would take a modest charge on people's homes after they retire and not tax them through NI or any other taxes during their working lives. The state would then be reimbursed when they die and/or sell their homes.
"The arithmetic is simple: only one in four people ever need to go into residential or nursing homes; the average length of stay is 30 months; and the cost of social care is around £25,000 a year (plus about £10,000 for the cost of accommodation, food and basic living costs which are normally paid out of the state pension, benefits or other income, not covered by insurance).
Under my proposal, the actual premium payable by any individual would be proportionate to the value of their home (net of mortgage). People would be given the chance to take out a policy within a couple of years after reaching state pension age. They would not have to pay any cash since the premium would be a charge on their home. The premiums would be set by actuaries to meet the average costs.
Any cost to the taxpayer is likely to be small and to arise only in circumstances (like an unforeseen increase in frail life expectancy) when the state would in any case be forced to pick up the tab. That is one reason why a state guaranteed body would be able to undertake this role even though the private sector (which would normally be preferable) cannot."