Wednesday 8 September 2021

Boris blows it

 Maybe I am a slow learner, I gave the Government a break on Covid. they made some mistakes and more than decisions they got right. But we all make mistakes under pressure (you should see my ever dwindling share portfolio, which I can only make rise in a falling market, sadly the market has been on the up for years).

Brexit too, many of the benefits are just plain ignored by the Remainers in favour of more and more ludicrous stories of empty super markets- the truth as ever is somewhere in between. But the lack of joining EFTA will bug me, as so much of the aggro now we need not have. 

However, the NI tax rise has broken me. Hosing more money on the NHS is insane. The health service is barely fit for purpose and health inflation accelerates away all extra spending. The money taken today won't likely ever really go into social care. 

Social care is a mess, throwing more state backed money at it is a bad idea. It is a mess partly because 90% of the sector is state backed, with all the price gouging, poor service and poor working conditions that usually entails. But Boris wants more of this. 

Boris has lost any kind of ideological compass. This is a Labour policy through and through, so Labour even Ed Milliband would not have tried it. If the Tories want to be Labour, fine, but then we may as well vote for the real thing and be done with it. 


DJK said...

>Boris has lost any kind of ideological compass...
You're assuming he had one to lose.

No, there is no social care plan; nothing will change. And all of the extra squillions will be absorbed by the NHS.

dearieme said...

Bonkers Boris. But what about the back benchers? Surely there's time to replace him, adopt a few Tory policies, and still have a chance in the next election?

Because otherwise we will presumably get Sir Kneel.

Maybe we'd still get Sir Kneel but at least we'd be spared Kneelism for a couple of years.

L fairfax said...

Why would you want us to join EFTA? That sounds worth in a post of itself.

decnine said...

I have some experience of the Welfare 'System'. Two relatives needed residential care and, under power of attorney, I managed their finances during the years before they died. Very very few people will derive any practical benefit from these proposals. The headline numbers sound impressive, but by the time all the Terms and Conditions are applied, what's left is zilch.

AndrewZ said...

Baumol's cost disease:

@L fairfax

Joining EFTA was one possible approach to Brexit that didn't happen. EFTA members have access to the Single Market, so the idea was to retain frictionless trade with the EU member states while getting out of the political process of ever closer union. But there'd be no point in trying to join it now, when a different form of relationship has already been negotiated.

E-K said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
E-K said...

The NHS is the industrial wing of the Labour movement. It ensures institutional Labour is in power even when political Labour loses all the votes.

It can (via SAGE) call a general strike replete with secondary picketing (their teacher chums forcing workers to stay at home.)

Boris is not Labour, he is just too weak to stand up to it.

So we had business crucified to "save the NHS" with lockdown.

Clearly lockdown failed to save the NHS. (5 million on the waiting list)

So now business is being crucified again with taxation of people's spending money. (£600 a year, for example, is all our restaurant visits) to... "save the NHS" just as the high street is opening up.

"Save the NHS" is a religious mantra used by communists to shut down debate about restrictions on freedom and theft of taxpayer's money.

PS, highest debt since ww2 and worst services ever. So how's mass immigration going then ? I always said that replacing an ageing population with an unemployed/low tax one isn't the solution either.

E-K said...

+1 anon at 4.43

Sobers said...

So lets see, the One Eyed Scotsman put 1% on NI back in 2002 in order to increase NHS funding to the European average, and all that additional spending has got us where we are today. Now the Blonde Idiot is going to do the same (only more) and expecting a different result.

When I was at school (about the time the BI was at university) it was considered that only the brightest and best went to Oxbridge, isn't it about time that idea was re-evaluated? I reckon we'd be better run by a random person dragged out of a pub on a dodgy council estate and installed in No 10. They couldn't be any worse than the 'highly educated' morons we have now.

Anonymous said...

They way things are going with inflation, tax, house prices etc - the only people that can afford children are pensioners with their index linked final salary pensions.

If they can't produce the next generation, then they should pay their own social care costs and give the younger generation some respite for paying for them.

Matt said...

The strategy of "not being the Labour party" (at least in name) is going to be severely tested at the next election.

As others have said, if you get the same (or worse) policies what's putting you off from voting for the "real deal"?

Did this pass the sniff test? Hobble the economic recovery from the disastrous lockdown by increasing taxes? WTF?

Might as well go whole hog and introduce price controls and limits on money movements.

hovis said...

Both the Tories and Boris lost any leeway they should never have been given in the first place as soon as the hollowed out parliament gave assent to the March 2020 Enabling Act.

As it I am suprised anyone actually thinks there is any reason to think we even have functioning institutions of state in this country anymore given we have a parliament filled with members of the Uni-party (red and blue corners).

The sad thing is as soon as there are no civil mechanism for change the only way to effect change is to become uncivil.

I would agree with other Boris never had a moral compass. The man has proved himself to be an utter cretin and those too weak willed to stand up against him even worse.
I at least expected intelligence and desire to be a truly ruthless "Caesar" given his alleged love for Roman history. Unfortunately he is at best Commodus.

hovis said...

p.s. spelling and syntax is for wimps :-)

dearieme said...

Old American Democrat wisdom: if you run a Republican against a Republican the Republican will win.

Anomalous Cowshed said...

I'd agree that cost disease and all the rest applies, so not the world's greatest idea, by a long shot.

However, I saw a comment elsewhere that got me thinking, and this (potentially, at least) is a Conservative policy, believe it or not.

The interesting bits are in the new thresholds. Local Authorities will not currently fund adult social care (either at home or residential) if cash savings are above £23,500. That limit will now be £100,000. If cash savings are between £20,000 and £100,000, the LA will fund care, with some portion (about 20%) of the cost met by the patient.

There's also talk of a cap - patients will not spend more than £86,000 of their own funds over their lifetime on care.

So, cash savings of £100,000, care at £1,000-£2,000 per month. You'll blow through that within 3 to 5 five years. Within two(!) years at £2,000 per month.

Your (two) children will be looking at a (cash) inheritance shrinking from £50,000 to £12,000. That's maybe 1.3x annual median wage to 0.20-0.25x annual median wage. What's the transfer to your grandchildren? What do your children think about the transfer to theirs?

Property values might behave in (roughly) the same way. Parents will delay flogging the house until absolutely necessary (or the children have to do it via LPA). Result is that there's a hoarding effect at a specific age or value (equity - mortgages should have been paid off at age 55 to 60) cohort. Selling the house resets the LA's clock back to the £23,500 level, after all.

So, remove the notional log-jam with the £86,000 cap, and there (should be ) a dilutive effect upon house prices, added to the direct inter-generational wealth transfer. Housing transactions are about 1/25 of the stock PA, so how many additional transactions are needed to significantly limit price growth? The Kings Fund numbers have about 1.2mln elderly adults receiving care - about 10% of the over-60 population. Which is a strange match to mortgage duration and annual turnover. How many of those are the Right-To-Buy generation right now?

Yeah, look at it the right way, and...?

hovis said...

Autonomous Cowshed, I was ended up looking at a new product proposal that never went anywhere, for a well known "older person" brand who wanted to fund care via equity release commercially- this was 25 years ago - anyhow the figures then were dead within 5 years once you go into care usually 3 years.

So if I read your right, people funding 3 years care on average get squat all out of these proposals.

jim said...

Loads more fun to come. Locally the price for dementia patients is about £1100/week. Thankfully you won't last long at that level being very very old and pretty sick too. Mercifully those who go blind, start twitching and totally bedridden are helped on their way - better for everyone. If they can most people hang on at home until the last (minute/months). No-one wants the carehome esp if they have to pay for it, different story if you don't pay....

We are planning for feet first. The difference between our pile and a decent bungalow near the shops etc is very small - and there are none anyway. Might as well stay put.

But, just like the lorry drivers there is a shortage of staff in the carehomes. The usual have gone home or not allowed in. The price has been held down so long the wages are very poor and the work uncongenial. This is a normal public sector technique, pay the bottom end very little and pay for an army of expensive inspectors/agencies/managers to cope with the inevitable failures in care. That's the way the money goes. That 'culture' will take years to unwind - if ever.

Meanwhile we have to look forward to Mrs Patel shoving the migrants back with her speedboat. She has taken legal advice - and she can't be sued so no probs. So she institutes her push-back plan, the weather changes to autumn storms, crossing slow down, Priti is a winner - until next year. If I don't p^ss myself in the carehome I will do laughing at Priti and the poor sods working for her.

Elby the Beserk said...

"Coronavirus: winter lockdown fears raised as England hospital beds cut by almost 5,000"

"Now that the government has decided to steal from working people’s pockets to throw yet more money at the NHS, it’s worth checking in on how some of that money will be spent. New job adverts on the Integrated Care Systems (ICS) recruitment page show that the NHS is now hiring 42 new chief executives to manage ‘integrated care boards‘ across the country, on salaries averaging £223,261. Seven of which will pay up to a whopping £270,000"

I give up. We've had it. It makes no difference who we elect, they are all intent on bankrupting everyone one of us. We've had it.

Anomalous Cowshed said...

Hovis - I think I ran into something like that in about 2003. If I remember correctly, equity release on the property, move into a McCarthy & Stone type of thing, original property was let, and viola, trebles all round. But only if the customer didn't live for much longer over seven years. Then the firm/investors got borked. But the customer was laughing. Or dribbling. There was also another thing floating about in the US. Similar-ish profile, same sort of problem.

Anyway, I think you've read it wrong. Or I've written it wrong.

Patient starts with £100,000 is cash, near-cash, semi-liquid assets.

Care is needed, cost is £2,000 per month.

Patient burns through cash at £24,000 per year. Hits the LA funding threshold within three years. Total spend at that point is a tad north of £75,000.

LA funds care until EoL, around two years later.

Patient's two children (in their mid-forties or early fifties) inherit cash assets that are £23,500 maximum. Bit over £12,000 each. About 4 months median wage.

When the threshold goes up to £100,000, the patient burns through cash at 20% of the cost, with the rest coming from the LA. And I think the 20% is tapered as well. So, the spend is £400 per month, £4,800 per year.

If EoL remains at five years, expenditure stops at £24,000. Leaving £76,000 to be split between the kids.

Or £38,000 each, more than 12 months gross pay.

Or split it six ways to include four grandchildren as well. They are probably between 13 to 18, possibly 20. May be they're looking at £9,000 each.

For each patient currently receiving care (about a million), there's six additional potential voters knocking around over the next 5 to 7 years. About six million.

The critical bit is life expectancy.

hovis said...

anon cowshed - thanks - I can see where you are at on that now, agreed life expectancy is the critical bit.

That last bit brings me to what Govt policy did with imposed DNR notices and Midazolam and Morphine prescriptions especially in care homes in the "pandemic". That life expectancy thing can easly be solved, only a lingering sense on wrongness will remain wrapped in platitudes. "It was for the best" ...forgetting [for the bank balance /public purse] will abound.

So yes an attempted solution but a stinker.

Anomalous Cowshed said...

Yeah. I think the review was completed about six or seven years ago now. For various reasons, there was effectively no competent parliament or administration that could begin to create a policy implementation. May just completely buggered it up, 'cos Theresa May, then the Brexit Parliament, then the pandemic.

It's a compromise - the old, comfortable funding and delivery model, single payer/single provider, layered onto the existing market structure, multiple/multiple, coupled to what the current administration believes it can actually get through the Commons without too much difficulty.

A slightly wider point - if the potential increase in inter-generational wealth transfer is real at the level of individual families, then it's a veryConservative policy. CU uses Milliband as an example, but that's a measure of how much (elements within) the Labour Party have changed, not necessarily the Conservatives, before Labour suddenly wildly regressed back to the 1930s. Underlying that though is the apparent belief that the Conservatives are all natural Thatcherites - which ignores the fact that she and Joseph, Tebbit et al were a minor faction within the party, and her administrations were largely anomalies when compared to pre- and post-Conservative administrations.

Anonymous said...

I would agree with AC that this is a very Conservative policy given the levels of intergenerational transfer. Its on par with the Thatcher's idea of universal home ownership. There are also recent figures showing ownership is 69% in Conservative constituencies compared to low 50's in Labour.

But the question is why did Boris balls up the policy presentation? All he had to say was we are ripping off the young now to give then (taxable) inheritances later.

Anonymous said...

Slightly off topic but for me there's a wider moral question around old age social care.

We've accepted the fact we should keep people alive as long as possible, regardless of their quality of life. Drug companies clearly love developing drugs in this area, but as a society we need to question this. The longer we keep people alive, the more this costs to do so.

The problems and costs we have now then will only get worse as better drugs come along to keep people alive longer, but for what benefit - especially for those that are essentially bed ridden. Is it really worth the cost to society keeping someone alive in a bed for an extra 5 year?

Hal E Bann said...

Anon, you have no hope.

The entire western world has decided that a virus that will kill those with an average age of 82 or higher, must be combated. Despite world war levels of money. Restrictions. Emergency powers. Focus and resource allocation.

82 is the new 35.

Sobers said...

What I can't ascertain is what happens in the £23-100k asset range. Above £100k assets Granny has to fund everything herself. Care plus accommodation costs. Under £23k the State pays for everything. In between does the 20% contribution apply to care costs only or the whole cost of staying in a nursing home? If your nursing home fees are £4k/month and half is care and half is accommodation and you go below the £100k asset level, does your overall cost drop to £800 (20% of £4k) or does it drop to only £2400 (20% of £2k + 2k)? Indeed can you stay in the same care home, or do you have to move to a home of the State's choosing?

Equally does the same issue apply to the £86k care cap? Once you've reached that does the State pick up the entire bill (care plus accommodation costs) or is the individual still on the hook for the accommodation costs? If the latter then Granny is still going to be burning her way through her assets at a rate of c. £24k/yr even after the care cap is reached.

Then of course there's the issue that people in exactly the same care homes are paying entirely different fees, depending on who is paying. Private payers pay far more than State funded residents. At the moment you're either one or the other, now there could a third category, part State funded, part private. What rate will they pay? Will the State just pay its share of your care fees, or will you have to be moved to another care home?

To be honest I can see this not making much of a difference to the whole EoL care situation. People will still have to sell their houses and burn through their assets to fund EoL care just as now, there might just be a few more K in the bank at the end, but not a massive amount.

lilith said...

I hope to eat an aconite sandwich or a digitalis smoothie in preference to a "care" "home"....just in case they have run out of Midazolam.

dearieme said...

My beloved has declared that she is not going into a care home as long as she is sufficiently compos mentis to resist. She'l be cared for in her own house and that's that.

Presumably as the cash runs out she'll do an equity release. But what if I die expensively first? Will there still be cash? Will there still be unreleased equity?

My great-grandmother's desire to be cared for in her own house worked, at the expense of the family losing the house. So be it; it was her house not the family's. That was my father's view and I think he was right.

Anyway if the family had got the house much of its value would have vanished in death duties over a generation or three.

The bastards will get you one way or another.

Elby the Beserk said...

@dearieme said...

The bastards will get you one way or another.

Taxation now highest in 70 years. So that economic recovery...they can forget about it.

Anomalous Cowshed said...


The Dilnot Review was 2011 - recommendations for accommodation costs are summarised as;

"the asset threshold for those in residential care should increase from £22,500 to £100,000. However, people in residential care should contribute a standard amount for general living costs, such as food and accommodation. An estimated figure was between £7,000–10,000 per year"

Or £20 to £30 a day. Not bad really, if your average B&B rate is £70, with other meals on top. But the review is getting on for ten years old, and the current proposals have altered some of the figures anyway.

In the review itself, the chart on page 7 implies that residential costs form part of the cap.

At the moment, it looks like the residential care proposals would be part of the reform bill, due in October. Can't really see if the 2014 Act changed much, and that dropped the cap anyway.

dustybloke said...

We have to bite the bullet and bin the NHS but no politician will even contemplate it. It would be suicide but it’s the only solution.

andrew said...

Sadly a bit of an echo chamber here (and yes i am with the general sentiment here) but almost everyone i know (apart from my parents) think the socialisation of social care is a good idea.

I can see why as
This sector is not well served
And both the elderly and the generation below like the idea of someone else paying for something v.v.v

Sadly i see nothing changing until an average house can be bought by a couple on an average wage without their elders bailing them out.

What really irks me is that the govt is doing nothing to solve the problems of high house prices / adult education and training / the london effect / public transport outside london

It is a bit like declaring victory on terrorism when terrorism just won in afganistan (another boris masterstroke - taking credit for a turd that was the product of another country's leadership's orifice)

E-K said...


Rising house prices is the only show in town. The Govt has been busy stoking them up. It is a way of printing money via the commercial banks and generating "growth" in taxes while making their core voters think it is good for them.

Rather than Help to Buy what was really needed was Help to Move for a whole generation of widows who left it too late to move out of the family home - but that would cause the Magic Money Tree to fall.

E-K said...

PS, Don't forget Geronimo the Llama. Somehow the media has memory holed that Tory murder.

He will be avenged:



Anomalous Cowshed said...

E-K- Help To Move pretty much translates into somebody being a Buyer Of Last Resort, presumably at a hefty discount to market.

Way too many problems with that one.

E-K said...

And a lot of solutions to it too.

A granny in a large, superheated house (and I know umpteen) is a big problem for families and the environment alike.

jim said...

Well, us oldies are shuffling off at about 1500/day freeing up houses as we go. About 3 to 4 times the rate of house production.

Business idea for this Christmas. Babushka headscarves and designer Perhaps Bags. Large size for the Waitrose demographic and small for the sausage roll demographic.

andrew said...

EK :

"it should have been Help to Move"

Andrew :

"EK for PM"

lilith said...

I have bought one of these just in case they bring back masks. Especially useful for a trip to the doctors (if they will give you an appointment....)

E-K said...


They *mustn't* have seen you coming.

lilith said...

A bargain E-K. Cheaper than a slogan t shirt saying "Back Away: Viral Vector!" at any rate.

E-K said...

I dooon't belieeeeve it !

(Vector Meldrew.)