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From The Socialist newspaper, 14 December 2016

No to home seizures for care bills

photo Chris Marchant (Creative Commons)

photo Chris Marchant (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

James Ivens

Councils may start seizing the homes of elderly people after death to pay care bills.

'Deferred payment agreements' have councils pay extortionate care bills in exchange for ownership of the service user's house. The number of such arrangements is likely to rise because the Tories have reneged on a pledge to cap care costs.

More council-owned homes would be good, but not on the basis of economic blackmail of vulnerable people. And will they become council homes? More likely they will be sold to profiteering developers.

Ministers are also considering letting local authorities charge more council tax to cover ballooning private care bills. This would only punish working class residents for the greed of the care companies.

Councils should instead fight for more funding from central government, and for care to be nationalised under democratic workers' control and management.

Meanwhile, private care companies try anything to maximise profit. The Socialist spoke to care worker and Socialist Party member Katie Simpson.

"Working in the care sector, you see the impact of private companies' cost-cutting practices.

"Community carers are given as little as 15-minute time slots to see a patient who may need more support, but local authorities won't foot the extra cost.

"Some staff are staying overtime without pay, while others use their own money to buy essentials for their service users. Meanwhile carers are often making minimum wage themselves, and are unpaid between calls despite guidelines.

"Yet the managing directors are always very well-paid. Six-figure salaries and five-figure bonuses while many frontline staff who work over the Christmas period might get a shopping voucher as a 'thank you.'

"It seems obvious to many carers I have worked with over the years that care was never safe in private hands. That profiting from the sick, elderly and disabled is not going to benefit the people in the service."

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 14 December 2016:


Socialist Party news and analysis

NHS crisis: we're fighting back!

End the Tories' war on the working poor

Amazon workers living in tents

Pfizer drug extortion - nationalise big pharma!

Trust in politicians reaches all-time low

No to home seizures for care bills

Them & Us


What we think

Establishment EU crisis deepens - fight for a socialist Brexit


A socialist programme for education

What kind of education?

Education for all - not exam factories


International socialist news and analysis

CWI: opportunities for substantial growth


Workplace news and analysis

Glasgow Labour leaders deluged with protests

Victory for UPS parcel workers

Nationalise Tata Steel to save jobs and pensions

Bin workers strike against draconian management

Derby TAs to strike against pay cut

Southern: back the strike, nationalise the railways!


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Birmingham Labour: Corbyn supporters need not apply

The Socialist Party and fighting women's oppression

Doncaster: cuts give rise to 'tent city'

Scrooge Tory council confronted over treatment of homeless


Comment and review

It's the bumper Socialist 2016 quiz!

2016 sounds for your stocking

The Socialist Inbox


 

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