Tag Archives: older people

Sunak and Truss: Tory PM contenders squabble while critics attack them both

Squabbling: Sunak and Truss.

This Tory leadership contest is like watching children squabbling over a toy.

Neither Rishi Sunak nor Liz Truss have any decent ideas to improve the quality of life in the United Kingdom, so all we are seeing in the end is the pair of them plumbing the depths in accusing each other.

Sunak’s latest attack on Truss is a claim that, if she doesn’t choose to offer either an unfunded £50 billion of tax cuts – mostly for the rich – and cost of living support (mostly for the poor), she will plunge the UK into an “inflation spiral”.

But his own economic policies are already sending UK inflation rocketing: US bank Citi has predicted it will reach 18 per cent – nine times the Bank of England’s target – in 2023.

That’s because of soaring energy prices – but Sunak’s policies are to blame for the effect they’re having on UK households because neither he nor any of the Tory chancellors since 2010 bothered to invest in UK-based green energy generation; they left us at the mercy of foreign fossil fuel bosses.

Meanwhile, it seems both candidates are committing political suicide by ignoring the interests of the Tories’ natural constituency: pensioners.

Propertied and pensioned people aged over 65 tend to vote for the Conservatives because they want to protect the investments and savings they have earned over the decades. Most Tory Party members are over 60.

But according to Dame Esther Rantzen, older people are facing “victimisation” due to current government policies, with the needs of senior citizens “totally ignored”.

She said both candidates should commit to creating a post for a minister for older people – but that seems a forlorn hope.

Neither Sunak, 42, nor Truss, 47, seem to have anything to say about older people.

And the independent Office for Budget Responsibility has warned that Truss is planning an emergency budget, if she is elected Tory leader (and prime minister by default), without an official economic forecast, even though one is ready and may be used.

Supporters of Sunak say she is trying to avoid scrutiny.

It seems that the policies being offered up by either candidate are no better than a dog’s dinner. We should all be living in fear for the future, no matter which of them gets into 10 Downing Street.

Source: Truss poised to plunge UK economy into ‘inflation spiral’, says Sunak

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On the international Day of Older People, more older people in the UK were having to stay in work

If there is a drawback to Second Reading (the House of Commons Library blog), it’s that the library’s stern practice of impartiality means that it can end up producing figures on a phenomenon without being able to explain why that phenomenon came about.

So it is with yesterday’s figures on ‘Older people in the UK labour market’ – which looks at key statistics regarding older people who are still in work.

First we get a graph showing that the number of people aged over 65 who are still in work has more than doubled, from 4.9 per cent in 1994 to 10.1 per cent (of 11 million people, making 1.1 million) in 2014.

141001-employment-rate

Before anybody leaps in to say they’re taking jobs away from younger people, it is worth reading on to discover that they are far more likely to be self-employed or working part-time (79 per cent of the total, with 39 per cent self-employed – 438,000 people).

That’s really as far as Second Reading can go. Fortunately we have Flip Chart Fairy Tales to provide more insight into the reasons. In an article posted on August 1 this year, this blog states:

Chris Giles wrote a piece in the FT this week arguing that most of the increase [in self-employment] is due not to lots more people becoming self-employed but to lots more people not leaving self-employment who would otherwise have done so.

If that’s the case, you can’t even blame the catastrophic collapse in self-employed earnings after 2008 on there being lots of new people who didn’t know what they were doing. If Chris is right, this is old-timers seeing their business shrink, rather than newbies trying to find their feet, under-charging and messing things up [all boldings mine].

The same goes for the increase in the number of self-employed tax credit claimants and the steady rise in non-employing and non-VAT paying businesses. If there has been no surge in new entrants, then either a lot of low profit and low turnover businesses are hanging on in there, or a lot more of them have become low-profit and low turnover businesses since 2008.

Chris says we should stop complaining because self-employment boosts tax revenues. It hasn’t done much boosting in recent years though. Despite the increase in numbers of people, the declared income of the self-employed was down by £8bn between 2008 and 2012.

What we’re seeing, then, is a huge rise in the number of people who find themselves unable to retire because they won’t have enough income to support themselves.

It has been said that Conservatives try to look after the elderly, because they are the only population group that is sure to vote in elections.

It seems the Tories have forgotten around 1.1 million of them.

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