The online headline says it all: ‘and the middle classes could pay twice’.
Once again Gordon Brown’s friendship with Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre has won him no favours. As the population continues to age, so the cost of caring for the elderly will increase. The Daily Mail complains of a new tax, while admitting a 2006 report on the cost of caring for the aged, ‘estimated that an extra £10billion is needed to make the care system work properly. But there was only a token £31million of new money on offer yesterday.’
Luckily for the Daily Mail, it falls to government to find a way to fund that gap.
But what’s always stuck in the Daily Mail’s craw is that those with savings are, and may continue to be, expected to fund their own accommodation and so deny their adult sons and daughters an inheritance. Surely adults should stand on their own two feet with an inheritance – by definition unearned income – a nice to have rather than one of life’s essentials. That’s why inheritance tax is the fairest tax of all.
The Daily Mail’s own summary of the current system implies no impact on the elderly themselves, who end up in a care home either way. Those with savings will almost certainly end up somewhere nicer than those without, but that’s no different to the better off choosing to live in nicer homes.
It’s the lazy middle class who lose out; those who depend on inheritance because they’ve failed to generate enough wealth by their own endeavours.