East Durham is already creaking from unfair levels of Council Tax. When it comes to Durham County Council residents are being forced to pay more and receive less. This is why I campaign to abolish Council Tax and replace it with a Proportional Property Tax that would save households in the Easington constituency on average £900 a year. If you want to know more, please see my article for the Local Government Chronicle
Council Tax is the first route in which you pay for social care.
To fund the Social Care Cap, Tory MPs broke their election promise not to increase tax. A new social care levy to national insurance will hit take-home pay at a time when families are already struggling to manage the rising cost of living.
The Social Care levy will be the second route in which you pay for social care.
In exchange for higher national insurance the Government make two promises: 1) care costs will be capped at £86,000; and 2) the means test to get state assistance will rise to £100,000.
As always, the devil is in the detail.
The £86,000 cap only applies to care costs, meaning you will still have to pay for your bed and board in a care home. The headline promise, that no one will have to sell their home to pay for care costs, is yet another broken promise as means-tested payments from the Council will not count towards the cap. This means a person with property and assets worth £106,000, and required social care costing hundreds of thousands could have their estate reduced to just £20,000. In contrast, someone with the same care cost but property and assets worth £500,000 would be able to pass on a great proportion of their assets, totalling £414,000.
The Social Care Cap will be the third route in which you pay for social care.
Families in East Durham will pay throughout their working lives and still end up losing nearly all their assets in order to protect the homes and assets of people living in high-value property areas in London and the South East.
This Social Care Cap is levelling down the economy and entrenching poverty and privilege. There are few policies that will see such a significant transfer of wealth from the poorest to the most affluent regions of the country.
I will vote against Social Care Tax, as working families in East Durham should not be forced to pay to safeguard the homes and assets of wealthy people living in London and the South East.
Residents in the Sedgefield, Bishop Auckland and North West Durham constituencies need to ask their MPs why they are voting to make working people in County Durham poorer, in order to protect the wealth and inheritance of the richest people in the UK.