THERE is talk (‘the magic of averages’) of ending the requirement for those needing care to expend nearly all of their capital, selling or re-mortgaging their home, before receiving state assistance.

Those calling for this no doubt have strength of feeling and some reason on their side, as did those who persuaded Mrs T to abolish the rates.

On the other hand, those of us who have looked after our own parents may be less than happy to pay so that children who haven’t done this can receive their expected inheritance intact.

What does seem to me an injustice which should no longer be borne is that these self-funders have to cross-subsidise other clients and residents in the care system.

This apparently is happening because the level of funding from local authorities is insufficient for organisations providing care to be viable without such a top-up.

I don’t see how such a gap in funding can be justified, unless the recipient of state-funded care is making choices (such as location) which drive up the cost.

Either way, the needs of the poor and frail should be matter for the community in general and not specifically for the comfortably-off and frail.

Recipients of the same care service should have it available at the same price, whether that price is being paid by the individual or by the council.

One might argue that setting a lower price for those who can’t afford as much is normal market segmentation.

But the state can afford as much as it chooses to afford. It is charged less because of its dominant share and known intransigence, much as supermarkets are able to bully their suppliers.

John Riseley, Harrogate.