The Manifesto for Britain's over 50s

27 March 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 who are seeking their support, as Saga has issued its Manifesto for Britain's over 50s.

The Manifesto, compiled using the opinions of 11,000 people from Saga’s database of 10.6 million names, covers everything from health, housing and pensions to broader issues such as Europe, employment and general standards of living.

The principles of the Manifesto for the Over 50s (PDF) rest on fairness, equity and positive concepts of what binds us together as human beings and a nation. There are a wide range of reforms that our Manifesto for over 50s calls for covering the following key topics.

Some of their priorities are specific to the Saga demographic – the UK’s 22 million over 50s:

  • 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.

  • Future pension increases based on an index of ‘real’ pensioner costs of living.

  • Reform inheritance tax to exclude the family home or link future tax-free allowances to house price inflation.

  • A ban on hospital parking charges.

  • Energy companies required to provide a free allocation of energy to vulnerable households.

  • Maintain pensioner benefits.

However, in the Manifesto the over 50s also include calls for action on broader areas of policy such as:

  • 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.

  • An early chance to vote on an in/out European referendum.

  • Absorb car tax into fuel duty to end the unfair impact on low-mileage drivers.

  • More support for family carers.

Over 50s very much hold the keys to number 10. 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, who represent 46% of all adults.

Some politicians seem to view the elderly as a burden on society rather than a blessing. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. 

Evidence from independent economists is that spending by the over 50s has been a key factor in the UK economic recovery and in fact spending by this age group is significantly more effective in creating jobs for the young which will be a particularly important consideration for the next parliament.

Saga comments

Saga Communications Director Paul Green said: “The 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.

“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.”

Download the full Manifesto for Britain's over 50s PDF to read more.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.