We had yet another case this week of an elderly person being discharged from hospital after an illness, who was no longer capable of looking after herself, but who was not – as the rules require – given a needs assessment by social services.
Anger over mounting care crisis
Almost any day some news programme or newspaper carries an item about the crisis in care. NHS chiefs complain about bed-blocking by patients who cannot be discharged because social services cannot find accommodation for them. Care homes teeter on the verge of bankruptcy because the rate local authorities pay them is barely enough and costs have risen due to the Minimum Living Wage. Local authorities’ increasingly desperate pleas for more money from the government have had no response.
A new complexity: the Residential Nil Rate Band
From April 2017, we have a new complexity in the tax system to cope with: the Residential Nil Rate Band. This is not down to our current Chancellor Mr Hammond: it was introduced by George Osborne in 2015 as a way of fulfilling a Tory manifesto promise to raise the Inheritance Tax threshold to £1 million without actually raising the tax threshold itself.
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