Letter: Legacy of care for the old

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The Independent Online
Sir: Polly Toynbee (8 April) complains that John Major "promises new schemes to allow the old to keep their property instead of spending it on care if they have to go into nursing homes". She believes that personal wealth should be used to pay for care rather than burden taxes, and I am inclined to agree.

Further, this sits ill with John Major's other expressed wish - to get rid of inheritance tax. This would make inheritance a lottery. Those who died without needing long-term care would be able to pass on all their wealth, but those who spent a long time in care would leave nothing beyond pounds 10,000.

Would it not be better to have an effective inheritance tax and use it to pay (or part pay) for care of those who need it? A society in which inheritance becomes more and more significant risks increasing the already highly damaging wealth differences in the country.

G W Alderton

Helsby Cheshire