Mon, 17 May 2021

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By Professor Martin Green
By Barry Horne
Press releases

22 million over 50s voters 'hold the keys to No. 10'

22 million over 50s voters 'hold the keys to No. 10'


3 min read Partner content

As the general election campaign gets under way Saga has released its manifesto for the over 50s, setting out the organisation’s political agenda for older people.

Central to the aims is ensuring a dignified future for the over 50s, focussed on standards of living and securing the necessary financial and practical support.

According to Saga’s director of communications, Paul Green, the manifesto has “fairness and equity at its core.”

Among the range of issues it touches on, recent pension reforms, which will offer significantly more freedom, are highlighted by the company as it is determined to ensure that its members are well-informed and receive the necessary advice.

It also argues for the maintenance of long-standing entitlements which have been subject to some political scrutiny, such as the winter fuel allowance and free travel passes.

The political significance of this was highlighted in a Saga Populus survey which found widespread opposition to relinquishing benefits, or paying tax on the value of them, among over 10,000 over 50s.

Mr Green argues that the voting power of this demographic should be recognised as the company’s research “demonstrates that the UK’s over 50s vote is 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.”

Drawing attention to measures which disproportionately affect older people is an important aspect of the company’s work, which is why it is also calling for an end to hospital car parking charges and reform of inheritance tax rules.    

Understandably, the NHS and social care is a priority among this age group and concerns have been raised about both treatment and facilities.

Having listened to its members Saga suggests that improving NICE guidelines to bring them more in line with the needs of elderly people would be beneficial to both patients and society as whole.

On social care it highlights the need for more affordable housing which would enable people to remain in their own homes later in life.

The challenges of growing old need not be daunting with the right support and guidance, and Saga is determined to secure this. 

With this in mind and as May’s election draws near, Mr Green is keen to remind parliamentarians that “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.”

Full details for Saga’s manifesto can be found here or in this week’s edition of The House