Letter: Help the elderly care for themselves

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From Mr Piers Hart

Sir; In his article on paying for care of the elderly (Money: 25 November), Clifford German mentions a number of ways in which the Chancellor could ease the problem through tax concessions and by upping the pounds 8,000 asset threshold. Surely one of the simplest measures to allow the elderly to hang on to their homes would be to allow the cost of care to be offset for tax purposes against any income they might have. In this way a small occupational pension might be able to pay in full for care in the home without the need for outside resources or subsidies. Similarly, renting out the erstwhile family home might provide sufficient gross income to pay for residential care. This would greatly reduce the financial demands on the public purse and continue to allow individuals, even in old age, to be independent consumers and creators of wealth. It does seem iniquitous that the elderly and infirm should be penalised through taxation in their endeavours to remain financially self sufficient.

Yours faithfully,

Piers Hart

Thetford, Norfolk