Andrew Goodsell reveals pro-business parties according to over 50s

Tuesday 3 March 2015

In the March edition of the Saga Magazine, Saga’s executive chairman, Andrew Goodsell tells readers that in the upcoming general election, he will be focusing on the one thing that he believes underpins the wellbeing of all generations – our economy; and reveals that 83% of over 50s believe that the Conservatives were pro-business.

Andrew Goodsell reveals pro-business parties according to over 50s

In contrast 45% thought the Lib Dems were pro-business closely followed by UKIP at 44% and Labour at 43% -the Greens came in at just 13%.

Full letter text:

I have always believed that, as a business, Saga shouldn’t be aligned to any particular political view. Rather, we prefer to let you, our customers, guide us with yours.

In this way we have at times championed your views to politicians, with considerable success. Before the 2010 general election, we fought to save key pensioner benefits and called for the Default Retirement Age to be abolished. We also lobbied for pensions flexibility and an end to the division between cash and share ISAs, and higher ISA limits. These arguments were won on your behalf.

Of course, it is nice when politicians listen to us but now, as we weigh our choices in the run-up to the general election, it will be us listening to them. Inevitably, all parties will be pledging as much as they can to beguile and entice us.

For my part, I’ll be focusing on the one thing that I believe underpins the wellbeing of all generations – our economy. We know a robust economy generates the jobs and wealth that enable us to sustain the modern welfare state. This is vital, especially as our ageing society will mean even greater demand on the NHS and social care.

The mechanism for this economic growth is shifting. We learnt recently that the UK is becoming a nation of entrepreneurs, many of them older people who are rejecting traditional retirement in favour of second (or third) careers in self-employed or freelance ventures. When it comes to powering our economic growth, it is these small businesses – frequently owned and run by the over-50s – that are every bit as important as the business giants.

Electing a party that can not only promise but also deliver on economic competence becomes more important than ever – but which will that be?

We sought your views in a recent Saga poll over whether parties were perceived to be pro- or anti-business. Just 13% of you thought the Greens were pro-business. They were followed by Labour with 43%, UKIP with 44% and the Lib Dems with 45%. In contrast, 83% thought the Conservatives were pro-business.

In the same Saga poll, we asked whom you would most trust to run the economy in the best interests of Britain – 37% thought Ed Miliband and Ed Balls, and 63% responded with David Cameron and George Osborne.

This outlook may shift as new policies and pledges emerge in the coming months, but I’ll wager that the issue of trust, especially with the economy, won’t be going away.

As the political campaign progresses, we are interested in your views and how they evolve. Further, we are collating the questions you have been sending in and will put a representative sample to the party leaders on your behalf in the coming weeks.



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