Press release

Brown, Cameron and Clegg to answer Saga generation's questions

Monday 22 March 2010

  • Leaders to hold filmed web chats to answer over 50s questions ahead of the election
  • Web chats to be streamed live on the internet

Saga is delighted to announce that Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg have recognised the electoral importance of the Saga Generation and agreed to answer questions from today's over 50s in a series of web chats to be broadcast around the end of March / beginning of April.

Earlier this year, members of the Saga-Populus Panel gave their opinions on a wide range of issues and helped create 'The Saga Generation Manifesto' - which we launched in January and sent to every MP and parliamentary candidate. The three main Party leaders responded to the manifesto in the March edition of Saga Magazine.

For the first time the Saga Generation is likely to make up the majority of adults going to the polling booths come the General Election. Older voters are not just wiser they are also more certain to vote – 63% of the over 55s say they are certain to vote compared with just 21% of those aged 18-24 or 37% of those aged 25-34. Saga Magazine readers and customers are even more committed, as a poll of 14,000 of them showed 80% saying they were certain to vote.

Emma Soames, Editor-at-Large, Saga Magazine commented: “The Saga Generation will have a decisive influence on the outcome of the coming General Election, we are therefore delighted that the party leaders should take some time to answer their questions. They are active citizens – they may no longer man the barricades as they might have done in the 60s – but they will vote in their millions.”

The first web chat is planned to be with David Cameron on Friday 26th March broadcast live on - the precise time will be announced on the Saga website shortly along with dates and times for the other Party leaders.


Notes to Editors

The Saga Generation Manifesto main themes

Fairer Finances

Basic rate taxation of interest should be abolished as too many older people do not reclaim overpaid tax.

A universal state pension of £130 per week at age 70 based on residency – to make savings pay and reduce complex means tested benefits.

Maintain current benefits and allowances targeting older people (such as bus passes).

Abolish Ageism

Age discrimination is rife in employment, in the media, in politics, and in the NHS, so the Saga Generation wants:

Ban on age discrimination in the health service.

NICE guidelines to take into account benefits to society (including carers) of drugs that help the elderly – e.g. medication for Alzheimer’s.

BBC Charter amendment to ensure a balanced portrayal of older people and presenters.

Support for carers

The £6 billion gap in care funding to be plugged by bearing down on NHS administration.

Investment allowing people to stay in their own home for longer

Better quality of care through better inspections and training for care workers.

More practical support for family carers and more funding for respite care to preserve the health of carers.

More research into the causes of dementia, which is the main driver of care needs.

Intelligent Retirement

Immediately end the default compulsory retirement age.

Allow a phased flexible approach – so retirement is staged and negotiated between employer/employee.

Overcome age discrimination in employment of older people by freeing employers from paying National Insurance when they take on older staff.

Employment and other services for the elderly to be encouraged not outlawed.

Making Parliament reflect the population

Political parties should collect and publish data on the age profile of their prospective candidates and MPs.

There should be a better balance of people entering Parliament with more older people with experience of business and life in general.

Better and safer streets

We want to see a genuine crackdown on binge drinking with staged closing of pubs, clubs and bars, and severe penalties for licensed premises that do nothing to discourage binge drinking.

More visible policing with for example the police walking the streets.

A no-tolerance approach to anti-social behaviour.



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