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NHS England Chief Executive Reopens ‘Dementia Tax’ Debate

Simon StevensThe NHS England chief executive, Simon Stevens,  has reopened the debate on the “dementia tax” during a House of Commons inquiry.

Pensioners’ homes should be used to fund social care in places of tax rises on those of working age, he suggested.

Mr Stevens told the House of Commons inquiry: “I think there are big questions about intergenerational fairness and what the right way to raise resources is, given the relatively advantaged position of my parents’ generation relative to my children’s generation.”

Mr Stevens said: “The principle where people have assets that form part of the funding answer is almost bound to be part of a sustainable solution.”

He stated that he considered it unfair to raise taxes while OAPs sit on homes ‘worth £1.5trillion’, saying the he supported deferred payments where care bills were recovered from the value of a person’s home on death.

Last year the Government’s manifesto pledge to make pensioners pay more towards the cost of social care was dubbed a “dementia tax”, leaving Prime Minister Theresa May to make a U-turn during the 2017 General Election campaign.

 

But Mr Stevens said: “Of the 100,000 hospital beds across England, about 18,000 are people who have been stuck in hospital for more than 21 days.

That is the equivalent of 36 of our acute hospitals out of action.”

A Green paper on the funding of social care is due to be published this summer.

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