Your letters to the Herts Ad... General Election special

PUBLISHED: 20:20 07 June 2017

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Mrs May’s proposal to charge care costs against the estate of the patient may have serious, unforeseen consequences.

The Conservative Party manifesto appears to require that any estate - including the current home - worth over £100,000 will be mortgaged to the local authority to meet home-care charges which will arise.

The local authority will withdraw sums, required to meet the costs of home care, until either the patient dies (when the remaining estate will be returned to the patient’s beneficiaries) or the estate is reduced to the £100,000 limit (when the local authority will assume all further care costs).

At present, I believe the authority meets the full cost of home care, but central government provides the local authority with some financial support and may also allow the authority to raise extra local revenue (as rates etc) in order to meet its expenditure.

First unforeseen consequence: To what extent, if any, will the Government withdraw its support to the local authority, if the latter is allowed to utiliswe the estates of home care patients?

Furthermore, since the Government will lose the Inheritance Tax (40 per cent of taxable estate), will it try to recoup this loss from the local authority?

I assume the Treasury has made an estimate of the probable income from Inheritance Tax, nationally - but perhaps not of the shortfall due the the application of Mrs May’s manifesto?

It looks like another big mess which, like most manifestos, appears not to have been properly thought through!

One might think the Opposition had called the General Election, rather than the Government!

Second unforeseen consquence: There is a potentially much more serious ethical consequence which could compromise both national and personal moral attitudes.

Intended beneficiaries might, quite legitimately, be dismayed to see the promised share in the estate consumed as home care costs.

The patient also may be aware that the promised benefits may never be passed on.

Both the beneficiary and the patient may feel guilt, seeing the estate value dwindling away.

Such guilt is not valid but we are all human.

Resistance, in our (economics-orientated) world to promotion of euthanasia might well be weakened.

Surely the Prime Minister (currently promoted in the press, as a Christian church-goer) must have considered this consequence of her manifesto?

Finally, if the PM changes her mind about charging home care costs against the patient’s estate, from what other budget could these costs be funded?

In my opinion, the first place to look is the defence budget.

If only politicians (including trade unionists) could look beyond the ends of their noses!

To close down the Trident/Polaris base would not necessarily result in unemployment.

If the workforce continued to be paid as usual, and no alternative work was found for them, there would still be a huge saving on the cost and maintenance of submarines and even moreso of missiles.

However, I do not believe it would take long for the work force to find new projects, especially if there was government support for their ideas.

This is the sort of problem which could usefully engage think-tank people and our university researchers.

Of course, our closest ally and weapons supplier, the USA, might well object to such economies but perhaps they should themselves follow our lead and apply their highly skilled work-force to more peaceful projects, directed towards “the common good” of all peoples.

JIM NAISBITT
Cunningham Avenue, St Albans

Further to Nick Chivers’ recent letter, Sandy Walkington has presumably held ambitions to become an MP for a long time and obviously believed that St Albans was the place where he could eventually be successful.

Throughout several election campaigns he has used the terminology of being involved “in and around St Albans” whilst actually living with his family in Welwyn.

Whatever Sandy’s reason for not plying his political ambitions in his own patch he now appears to have moved on from our area as he is not being publicly seen to be actively involved this time, maybe he thinks or has been told that Daisy stands a better chance without him?

Regarding the continuing confusion of tying down just where Lib Dem Westminster hopefuls for St Albans lay their heads when in need of peace and rest, the confusion seems to be continuing with their latest offering Daisy writing to us as fellow residents from an apparently recently acquired address in Victoria Street, which I don’t believe would be most people’s choice as an ideal family residence was it not for the advantage of being located at the side of our train station.

Seems odd to me that whilst Daisy is informing us how keen she is to become a central and active figure in our community she is setting up her base at the side of the train station in order to ensure that she can get away from the area by the quickest available route.

TONY LEACH
Langley Crescent, St Albans

Re: Councillor Gill Clark (Lib Dem bias? Letters June 1). I am sure that any local paper would be only too delighted to report all local news, of whatever hue (and cry).

To do that however, it has first to receive the news from source.

If councillors or their clerks conduct a ‘stand-off’ with a local paper, declining to advertise with them, refusing to supply them with copy, or even threatening them with legal action over content they do not like, they cannot then turn round and complain if they feel they have been inadequately featured.

CAROL HEDGES

Coldharbour Lane, Harpenden

I was browsing the Herts Advertiser of May 25, and wish to raise a concern in relation to this paper’s election reporting. This paper dedicated a section to each of the three main parties, detailing one of their election pledges.

Firstly, the Lib Dems received the most coverage in terms of column space, followed by the Conservatives, and then Labour with the smallest amount.

Secondly, the section dedicated to the Conservatives focused on one of their policies (repealing Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act), which is likely to receive a reasonable amount of negative publicity.

This was highlighted by the insertion of negative quotes from both Labour and the Lib Dems.

Why did this paper focus on this part of the Conservative manifesto over the many others on offer?

Likewise why has this paper provided a disproportionate amount of column space to the Lib Dems at the expense of other parties?

On the other hand, both sections dedicated to Labour and the Lib Dems focused on policies, which are likely to show them in a positive light.

I also feel this paper has provided much more favourable and detailed coverage of Daisy Cooper’s election campaign over the other two main parties. Considering this is a local paper, it is meant to remain independent and not appear to be favouring any one candidate or party over another.

In my opinion, the Herts Advertiser has let its readers down in a big way during this election campaign.

On a slightly different subject, I have observed that the Lib Dems have distributed a relatively large amount of rubbish through my letter box in recent weeks, both from Daisy Cooper and even from Tim Farron himself, relating to the county council elections and General Election

In comparison, the other parties have sent far less election material through the post.

I wonder why the Lib Dems, with their supposed green credentials, feel the need to destroy half a rain forest just to tell me stuff I really don’t want to hear about.

BRADLEY JOSEPH

Colney Heath Lane, St Albans

I have read the Labour Party manifesto. It is noticable that it does not mention the following four important things:

1) The role of the European Court of Justice. The ECJ is not about human rights. It is a vital part of the running of the single market.

It also relates to the Euroatom treaty, which is to do with nuclear power stations, and radioactive materials for health care, such as radiotherapy for cancer treatment, and x-rays. The Chief Justice at the ECJ from the UK is Eleanor Sharpston QC.

2) The four freedoms of the single market, established in the Treaty of Rome 1957.

Freedom of movement of goods, services, money and people are all linked. Free movement of people is not a free for all, though, as you will see in “Your Europe - residence rights” (europa.eu).

3) Our place at the top table in Europe.

4) Being part of the philosophy of Europe.

This means the shared values that we have in common, and the willingness to live together.

PHIL JONES

Member, European Movement UK

Absent from Theresa May’s election campaign is even the slightest mention of the great new Global Britain we are about to become, and how she intends to achieve it within the next term of government.

Without this, the many millions of jobs dependent on European trade will be lost to her Hard Brexit strategy.

Since the Brexit vote, Boris has been around the globe, and from his list of most friendly nations has come back with precisely nothing.

The Global Britain, with new trading partners replacing the trade we had with Europe is no more true than was the £350 million for the NHS.

Theresa May’s Hard Brexit and a fantasy vision of a Global Britain, together with a whopping national debt is no different to having a huge mortgage on your house, then quitting a firm well-paying job on the hope of a future job offer from the deluded and dishonest.

But let’s look on the bright side, perhaps we don’t have to pay off our national debt. We can leave that for the children!

Oh, but let’s not leave them the house, because unlike in Scotland where the law is different, the English will need to sell that for old age care.

IAN VANLINT

Antonine, St Albans

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