Commenting on today’s report by the Kings Fund that suggests that because older people are likely to the greatest users of health and social care, they should lose benefits and pay more in tax Saga’s Paul Green branded the proposals preposterous.
“Whilst this report correctly points to very real crisis that we as a society face in care funding, and it makes a number of hugely wise and insightful comments, however, to argue that older people should pay disproportionately more to plug the care funding gap is just plain bonkers.
“Would the authors of the report argue that young women should pay a special maternity tax, that healthy people pay a ‘longevity tax ‘due to their likelihood of receiving a state pension for longer than the less healthy, that non-drivers pay extra taxes for public transport, or that young families pay a special schools levy?
“This tortured logic just serves to unpick the nation’s social fabric – we need a system that is fair for individuals and taxpayers, one that delivers a quality of care that makes us proud to be British and not ashamed of the way we treat societies most vulnerable.
“When we asked more than 10,000 over 50s, about giving up pensioner benefits, perhaps unsurprisingly the vast majority were strongly opposed. However, they were twice as likely to accept handing back or paying tax on pensioner benefits if they knew that the funds were being ring fenced to pay for social care.”