The homes we would have KEPT under £80,000 social care cap

The homes we would have KEPT under £80,000 social care cap

09/07/2021

The homes we would have KEPT under £80,000 social care cap: From widow’s family haven to mother’s ‘pride and joy’… the children forced to sell their ageing parents’ properties to fund their care

Families have told of their torment at losing their homes to pay for social care as Boris Johnson prepares to unveil his tax raid to ‘fix’ the crisis.

The Prime Minister will today brace Britain for a manifesto-busting £10billion tax raid as he defies critics by pushing up national insurance on 25million workers and millions of firms.

The move will cost employees on £30,000 a year an extra £255 in tax, roughly £5 a week. Mr Johnson warned last night the NHS ‘cannot recover’ from the pandemic without a massive cash injection.

And he said it was time to end the scandal of pensioners having to sell their homes to fund care in later life. The tax rise of 1.25 percentage points shatters his solemn 2019 election vow not to raise national insurance.

Mr Johnson last night said the ‘enormous strain’ placed on the NHS by the pandemic, coupled with the ‘broken’ care system mean he could not ‘duck the tough decisions’.

Cash will be poured into the NHS to allow it to operate at 110 per cent of capacity to help it start clearing a waiting list that has soared to more than five million during the pandemic and is on course to hit 13million by next year.

The NHS will also be ordered to undergo a major efficiency drive. Ministers hope the money will clear the waiting list backlog by the time of the next election.

The proceeds of the tax rise of 1.25 percentage points will then be used to fund a new cap of £80,000 on the cost of social care, reducing the risk that people will have to sell their homes to pay for help.

Assets below £100,000 will be protected from the state – a huge increase on the current system in which people have to fund all their care costs if they have assets of more than just £23,350.

Here, families tell of their torment of the homes they lost that they would have been able to keep under the proposed new scheme.

Widow who lost her family haven

Nancy Griffiths, 55, has lived in Kingston, south-west London, for 33 years.

She and her daughter Tai, 13, became very close to their elderly neighbours David and Violet Edwards, regularly spending Christmas together.

David, who had worked for British Aerospace for many years, sadly developed dementia in 2016 and died two years later aged 92.

Violet had hoped to spend her final years in her marital home. However, because the couple had saved and lived frugally, David’s care had to be paid for privately at a cost of almost £2,000 a week.


Nancy Griffiths (left), 55, has lived in Kingston, south-west London, for 33 years. She and her daughter Tai, 13, became very close to their elderly neighbours David and Violet Edwards (right, on their wedding day), regularly spending Christmas together

After David’s death, Violet, 93, became very frail and was moved into a care home at an eyewatering cost of £65,000 per year.

Within four years, £300,000 of their hard-earned savings of about £400,000 had disappeared. Nancy, who had power of attorney, unfortunately had no option but to sell the Edwards’ house last year to pay for Violet’s care.

It had initially been on the market for £620,000 but – under pressure to sell – she was forced to accept a lower offer of £520,000.

‘David made everything in that house, from the conservatory to the fireplace – he even papered all the walls,’ said Nancy, pictured above. ‘It broke my heart to sell it.’

She added: ‘I fully support any changes to the law so that people don’t have to sell their home for social care. I think it’s completely wrong.

‘I’m not Violet’s daughter so I won’t be getting anything in the will, but I feel so sorry for people who expected to rely on money from their parents after they’ve died.’

For sale: Mum’s pride and joy

Barbara Brand-Cotti, 81, worked as an antiques and jewellery dealer. After meeting her husband Roland in London, they moved to Lincolnshire to pursue their dream of raising children in the countryside.

When their daughter Holly, now 44, was only seven, Roland died, and Barbara had to raise Holly and her two siblings alone.

Barbara was careful with money, and Holly remembers the whole family celebrating when she paid off the mortgage.

‘That beautiful Lincolnshire cottage was her pride and joy, especially the garden,’ Holly said.

But in 2017, Barbara – pictured above with her family – had a stroke and the next year she was put into social care.


Barbara Brand-Cotti, 81, worked as an antiques and jewellery dealer. After meeting her husband Roland in London, they moved to Lincolnshire to pursue their dream of raising children in the countryside

After disagreements with the nursing home over payments, including an attempt to evict Barbara during lockdown last year, the family turned to the Care Campaign for the Vulnerable organisation for legal advice, but eventually gave in and said they would sell the house on Barbara’s death.

Holly has an outstanding debt of £100,000 for her mother’s care, and the house is worth £170,000.

‘It’s one of the biggest injustices in this country that at the end of your life, when you’ve paid into the system, you have to give up everything you’ve saved,’ she said.

‘That cottage meant the world to my mum and she wanted to be able to leave something to us. It just felt wrong to sell it. I felt like I had failed her. Boris Johnson was elected on a manifesto pledge to fix social care. Was that an empty promise?

‘These proposed changes can’t come soon enough.’

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