Baby boomers should be prepared to fund their own care in old age because their generation has done ‘pretty well for itself’, a Government adviser said yesterday.
Lord Warner, a former Labour health minister who is drafting reforms on the future of elderly care, said that far more people born in the ‘baby boom’ years after the Second World War owned their own home than previous generations – and many of these properties were worth a lot of money.
In my days avoiding the dole line not long in the dim distant past I worked for a benefits unit for Leeds City Council; their job was to maximise the benefit package available to vulnerable groups: the elderly, the chronically poor and the invalid, and to ascertain if the richest amongst the groups could afford to pay towards the cost of their care.
It was alway fun to hear the stories; the incredulous, aghast faces on the little Lord Fontelroy's after you told them that they would be expected to pay the maximum rate to their still-subsidised care (note the emboldened word), the joy of an aged lollypop lady widowed with nothing finding she wouldn't be expected to pay anything at all.
Or anger at those gaming the system; a millionaire who signed over power of attorney and all assets to his son who then charged his father rent in order to claim housing benefit, paying for his holiday in the Mauritius or a down payment on a holiday home in the dales no doubt, or the old housewife left her family home by a late, sorely missed husband, with rapidly dissolving, scant savings who would be liable for massive unaffordable payouts.
You could easily say that the subsidised scheme was illiberal, an imposition on today's taxpayers paying for the previous generations mistakes, and you would be right.
But right doesn't wipe old ladies bottoms, feed geriatrics or break the day-on-day tedium with a visit to a recreation centre.
Nor does right fight the regulatory impacts on these services killing off any chance of seeing them get cheaper or the burden on others reduce. How every terrible happening prompts political axes to the grindstone making the process of looking after our burgeoning elderly population more cumbersome and expensive.
No; wrong has prevailed too long and now one generation must make a sacrifice for another - it has not be unreasonable for the elderly to expect to keep their homes and have their care paid or; they were told and promised as much by previous governments who knew they could promise jam tomorrow without ever having to worry about it's cost.
However it falls the translation will impact the old and the new together; there really is no alternative now. One generation will have to make sacrifices bigger than any other, will have to realise there is no jam tomorrow; the vast corporatist state's ponzi schemes has squirrelled it all away for itself and it's own benefit.
That sacrifice will see reward though; it will follow the mass realisation that we are not our collective brothers' keepers and that self-reliance, eroded by so much over-reliance on an all-powerful state will reappear with a vengeance.
And it will accompany the greatest uprising against this present darkness ever seen.
That or we can wind our way to slow painful decline as civilisations have done before.