A manifesto for Britain's over 50s

Friday 10 April 2015

The UK’s over 50s – nearly 90% of whom intend to vote in the next General Election – have today thrown down the gauntlet to the Party leaders seeking their support.

A manifesto for Britain's over 50s

Saga has unveiled a Manifesto for Britain’s over 50s derived from a poll of 11,000 people carried out by Populus and from the views of Saga Magazine readers.  Policy demands range from an early chance to vote in an in/out European referendum to future pension increases based on an index of ‘real’ pensioner costs. If such a policy had been in place since 2007 the basic state pension would be £112 higher today.

Other proposals include stamp duty breaks to encourage people over 65 to rightsize and free up accommodation for those starting on the housing ladder, the maintenance of current pensioner benefits such as Winter Fuel Allowance, action to drive higher quality standards in care and support for family carers.

The Manifesto also calls for action to ensure quality guidance and support to help people make the most of the new pension freedoms as well as a strict Code of Conduct for those who help pensioners release money from their pensions.

The Manifesto for Britain’s over 50s has been presented to political leaders vying for votes in the coming General Election with a caution that it represents the views of those most likely to vote - 89% of the over 65s say they will vote in the General Election compared with 52% of those aged 18-24.

Saga’s director of communications, Paul Green, said:

“This Manifesto has fairness and equity at its core. Our research demonstrates that the UK’s over 50s vote based on issues that affect the whole country, not just those that affect themselves, so the political parties ignore them at their peril. Saga members want to engage and be engaged with and are not afraid to make difficult voting decision if their or their family’s’ future is at stake.

“The over 50s very much hold the keys to Number 10. Listening to their life experience and securing their 22 million votes will be key to any party winning the next election. We look forward to an open and honest debate at this critical juncture for the UK economy and society as a whole.”

At the time of the last General Election there were 21.6 million people aged 50 and over in the UK, 44% of the over-18 adult population. Today the UK has 23.6 million people over 50 - 46% of all adults. More than half of those aged over 50 told Saga that issues that affected the whole country were front of mind when casting their vote – compared with a third of those aged under 50.

Those aged 50 and over are an increasing proportion of the population, the electorate and the workforce and these trends will continue. As a society we should plan for a more inclusive, healthier, independent and dignified future for the over 50s.

Manifesto highlights include:

  • An early chance to vote on an in/out European referendum.
  • Stamp duty breaks to encourage people over 65 to right size – this could potentially release 111,000 properties into the market, helping to ease the current squeeze in property supply.
  • Reform inheritance tax to exclude the family home or link future tax-free allowances to house price inflation.
  • The removal of the artificial division between local authority and health authority budgets, and faster progress towards full health and social care integration.
  • National insurance breaks for those who employ the long-term unemployed.
  • Future pension increases based on an index of ‘real’ pensioner costs of living.
  • Interest to be paid gross on pensioners’ savings.
  • Maintain pensioner benefits.
  • Energy companies required to provide a free allocation of energy to vulnerable households.
  • A ban on hospital parking charges.
  • Absorb car tax into fuel duty to end the unfair impact on low-mileage drivers.
  • More support for family carers.

 

Ends

Notes to editors

Read the full Manifesto for Britain’s over 50s

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