Deep joy. I don’t deny that there are deep problems with the way things are done now – I have never met a client who wants to go into a nursing home – and I fully understand that the vulnerable person neither wants to be separated from their home and their nest, where they have lived for most of their happiest years, despite impairments. And the self interest of many children in the family, as they see their inheritance being eroded is also strong.
But how is it expected that pensioners will pay national insurance? I’m fairly sure that the proportion of higher income pensioners is small, compared to most, who will experience a loss in income as opposed to a salaried income. And if you deduct national insurance from those who are already streamlining their budget for retirement – well, there will be some hardship.
I know that not all pensioners are poor – those retiring now might be the last of the salary-scheme pensioners, and that now, the generation might be able to afford to pay NI, if their pension gives them an income of over £20,000 a year, between them. But even if this is achievable with the current pensioners, by the time such a policy is put in place (say 5 years time, at least), this might not be the case – the pensioner population might soon start to show people who were not on final salary schemes as a larger proportion of the whole.
And I suspect there is a huge gap to be bridged between even those pensioners and the generation retiring in 15-20 years time, who may have very little, if any supplementary pension, given the proportionate increase in expenditure on housing costs and childcare that generation has experienced.