Open letter to Sir Henry Bellingham: Did Theresa May ask you if you agreed with her Dementia Tax on social care at home before she announced it in the Conservative manifesto?
I’ve recently had your election leaflet dropped through my letterbox which says you “have made dementia a key priority because it is a cruel disease which causes endless suffering to patients and loved ones alike”. Little did I realise when I first saw it what exactly the Conservatives were planning for these very people living at home in our community, thereby piling on the agony of losing control of their house while they are living in it. May says, for the first time, the asset value of their house, however modest it is, should be included in a means test applied by the local authority to determine how much they should pay for care.
Why is May refusing to commit to introducing a defined cap on the cost of care for any individual to pay? Can you imagine how stressful this would be for anyone (or their family) living in these circumstances? Do you think it might have unintended consequences for many people who might have a spell in hospital, remaining there longer than they otherwise would, while officials work out who is liable for the cost of their care? Or perhaps the patient might decide not to have care at home even if they really needed it? Further pressure on the NHS in the offing I fear.
Who will carry out the house valuation? Aren’t local authorities struggling enough already to deliver timely social care assessments? Will this cost extra on the Council Tax? How will the loan interest mount up for individuals who live for years before their house can be sold to pay back the care loan? Never before have voters been asked, just before an election, to accept a vague and woolly manifesto promise by any political party, while May insists on leaving the ‘devil in the detail’ of her proposal to be decided after the election. Voters deserve for you to come clean before June 8.
Hazel Fredericks, Old Hall Drive, Dersingham