James O'Brien Says Tory Policy On Social Care Is 'Opposite Of The NHS'

18 May 2017, 12:31 | Updated: 18 May 2017, 13:51

James O'Brien is not happy about the Conservative manifesto pledge to take the cost of social care away from a patient's estate when they die.

The LBC Presenter dubbed the Tory's solution the social care problem a "mess". 

The manifesto promises to address the rising cost of social care in England. It states no one will have to sell their property in their lifetime to fund care. Instead, the cost of care will be taken from their estate, if it is worth at least £100,000, when they die.

On his weekday show, James highlighted one in 10 will end up needing social care costing more than £100,000, adding that 'most people' will spend less than £20,000 on social care. 

He clarified: "This is the non-medical stuff. Weirdly, dementia doesn't fall under the remit of the NHS. So if you're wealthy and you contract cancer, and it kills you over period of years, your fortune is safe, your fortune is protected. 

"If you're relatively wealthy, and you contract dementia, and you have a slow decline over a number of years, your fortune is not protected. In fact, they'll have all of it, except your last £100,000.

"Don't panic, because it will be secured posthumously in most cases. So only after you die and your estate is sold, will you repay the cost of your care. 

"That's the first hurdle, and that's pretty scary, right? I haven't dealt with dementia on a personal basis, but my goodness me I have thousands of listeners who have, and the stories they have shared with us over the years are utterly heartbreaking, heart-wrenching, utterly, utterly. 

"And yet they have to pay for their care? There's a massive anomaly there, that Theresa May has chosen, I think, to ignore. 

"And the other element of this, the other really interesting element of this, is the notion of spreading the burden. So if you come up with a policy, and we are coming at this from every angle today, so if you can come up with a policy yourself, ring in and share it. Here's the thing. 

"If you spread the burden somehow, so that we all cover the costs of the relatively small minority of people that end up needing this level of social care, then it seems to me to be fairer. 

"What we've got today, is a policy proposal that effectively days, if you get this particular condition, because it's mostly going to be dementia that means you can't look after yourself, if it's a physical disease you'll be looked after by the National Health Service. 

"This is for people who aren't ill in a conventional sense, but are very, very ill in the sense of dementia. If you're unlucky enough to end up with that condition, or something similar, you've got to pay for all your care yourself.

"And if you don't end up with it, you don't pay for anything. So, the 90 per cent of the population that will never need this sort of social care, are home and dry, we get to keep all our parents' assets, we get to inherit all ourselves.

"The ten per cent that do, pick up pretty much all of the bill single-handedly...it's the opposite of the NHS." 

James went on: "That's one of the beautiful things about the NHS, we all pay, and only some of us need it. This is the opposite of that."