For years, pensioners have been the social group most likely to vote in elections – and most likely to vote Conservative.
They do this because they think Tories have their interests at heart – raising pensions by at least a set amount every year, ensuring they receive extra payments to cover cold weather, and of course the free TV licence (now at the expense of the BBC).
But it seems the Tories are preparing to stab their most loyal voters in the back.
Tories like to set people against each other; it’s how they win elections. They demonise one group and then claim to be standing up for another, when in fact they are only standing up for themselves.
Now it is the turn of pensioners to be demonised.
The BBC article, quoted below, states: “Part of the problem is that the older generation has been lucky at the expense of the younger generation.”
It seems the Tories are considering turning on their elders in order to win the votes of a new generation of politicised younger people, then.
They may even follow the strategy proposed by the Tory-faithful Taxpayers’ Alliance a year ago.
I wrote at the time: “The TPA, if you recall, exists to cut the tax bill (primarily – and selfishly – for the very rich, hence the close connection with the Conservative Party) – and has called for the Conservative Government to cut pensioner benefits right now (backstabbing) on the grounds that either they’ll be dead or won’t remember what happened by the time of the 2020 election.
“Not only is this suggestion selfish, backstabbing and stupid – it is also homicidal. Robbing pensioners of their winter fuel allowance or Christmas bonus could force them into choosing between (and I know it’s a cliché by now) heating and eating.
“Unfortunately for pensioners, the idea may turn out to be attractive to the Conservatives, who may see it as a way of conducting a ‘stealth’ cull of the very old, in the same way they have been thinning the number of incapacity benefits claimants by nudging them in the direction of suicide. Any death – despite being caused by the benefit cut – would be blamed on the choices of the individual, rather than the government.”
David Cameron’s Conservatives didn’t go through with the idea but Theresa May’s government may just decide that its time has come.
An opportunity to save cash by cutting pensioner benefits, save more cash when pensioners die off, and then get the young to vote Tory by using some of the money to bribe them, and still be quids-in?
It’s a no-brainer, isn’t it?
Has the time come for the government to break pledges made to pensioners, asks Paul Johnson, the director of the Institute of Fiscal Studies.
The fact that they have much improved life expectancy, and much higher levels of income and wealth than any generation before them is a fantastic achievement. Those reaching retirement now are better off than any other age group. This is a historic first.
The worry is that the generations coming up behind them may end up rather less well off.
Earnings are stagnating. Home ownership rates have collapsed for younger generations over the past 20 years. And the generous occupational pensions enjoyed by many baby boomers are simply unavailable to younger people unless they are lucky enough to work in the public sector.
At age 30, those born in the early 1980s have only half the wealth of those born a decade earlier at the same age.
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