Press release


Friday 4 May 2012

• Over 50s believe Government policymakers do not understand their needs
• Middle income groups have suffered significantly and politicians ignore this at their peril

As English, Welsh and Scottish council election results are being counted and heavy losses declared for the coalition parties, Saga urges Government to take more notice of the needs of the UK’s over 50s.  Are older generations sending a political message that they feel the Government is out of touch with the needs of this vital swing voter group?

Director-General Ros Altmann commented: “Our surveys show that 'grey voters' believe the Government does not understand the needs of Britain's older citizens and that policy has been unfair to older people.

“Britain’s older generations, who have worked hard and saved hard for their future, have seen their finances dramatically damaged during the past few years by ultra-low interest rates reducing their savings income, inflation reducing their purchasing power and QE which has decimated annuity rates for pensioners.  There have also been cuts in Winter Fuel Payments and council care funding, as well as the recent announcements of tax changes for middle income pensioners.

“A major political force has been badly hurt by policymakers' actions and the dissatisfaction may be starting to show in these election results across the country.  Indeed, Saga has long argued that taking money away from older generations - whether it be directly by cutting savings, annuity or drawdown income, or indirectly by high inflation - is a recipe for recession, not recovery.  Both the economic and political news suggests the Government needs a new approach.  Act to help savers, end the dangerous QE gilt-buying and use the power of pension fund assets to help underpin growth-promoting policies.  This would be far more effective and popular.”