Think piece: The future of long-term care

oldAs the encroachment of government grows larger and larger, so does corruption, greed, and dictatorial behaviour grow likewise. The dumbing down of state education ensures that “we the people” will become less and less knowledgeable about what is a proper role for government.

A case in point is the issue of Long Term Care (LTC) – a crisis which has been building up for decades, at the same time as we the people have come to expect a growing NHS and, in many cases, would now expect the NHS to expand as necessary to cover long term care of the elderly. Nor have governments done anything to abuse us of that impossible notion any more than has the NHS which, on the contrary, has encouraged it and advertised “NHS continuing health care” as “a package of continuing care provided outside hospital, arranged and funded solely by the NHS, for people with on-going healthcare needs”.

Governments don’t do long term. Few readers may recall that way back in 1997 LTC funding was made a priority by the Labour government, with a Royal Commission reporting in 1999 – at which point it was thrown into the long grass. Pension schemes (similar in many respects to LTC) have been peppered with reams of rules and regulations throughout my long career in that industry and get worse by the day. The 1997 raid on occupational schemes by Gordon Brown via changing the ACT tax rules virtually killed off final salary-related schemes in the private sector. This raid was upon existing assets, which were backing promises in respect of years of service already accrued, so naturally it plunged many thousands of schemes, large and small, into insolvency. (1, see references below) This is a crucial matter because pensions and LTC have many similar features. It is all too easy to see that another “Brownian raid” may hit LTC providers retrospectively. [Continue reading]