From dementia tax to a solution for social care
Unlike the NHS, social care is both means- and needs-tested. Even Nye Bevin saw it as dealing with ‘the residual categories’ of people in need - older and disabled people, previously subject to the Poor Law - and its funding was from the beginning made dependent on resources. In a situation of chronic underfunding, the personal budget solution supported by disabled people has become an excuse to find fixes that make people responsible for their own care. But there has been no political will for the progressive wealth tax that could raise the extra funding required for a truly universal service. Yet social care could become a jewel in the service industry crown, an important part of an economy of care, and a creator of collective social wealth for society.
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