Strictly speaking, as this is now voting day for the election, there should be no canvassing today. However, I will use it to at least sum up all the other Party Manifestos’ comments directly about older people, in the same format as I used in the previous post as the Conservatives.
PENSIONS — the triple lock has been retained by all the other Parties who certainly don’t want to risk losing any older peoples’ votes and are not concerned about the cost of a promise they will probably not have to honour.
WINTER FUEL ALLOWANCE — this too has been retained by all the other Parties. Which is strange, particularly in the case of the Labour Party, who introduced this allowance in the days of Gordon Brown and now find themselves protecting wealthy pensioners. In the case of the Green Party, you would have thought they could have dropped this allowance altogether and saved some money, given their strong convictions about global warming. The SNP, on the other hand, have devolved powers and will keep the allowance in Scotland, firstly because they believe it’s much colder up there and secondly because the UK Government will be paying for it.
FREE BUS PASSES —- these will be retained by all the other Parties, although I doubt many MPs ever use buses. In the Green Party’s case you would have thought they would ban all buses given the amount of diesel fume polution they send into the atmosphere. Perhaps a fleet of green electric golf buggies would be a better policy :-).
INHERITANCE TAX —- all the other Parties make great play of enabling older people to pass on the value of their houses in an inheritance. Hence the cries of shame in relation to the Conservative Party’s proposed “dementia tax”. At the same time, it is rumoured that the Labour Party in particular, intend to significantly increase inheritance tax by reducing the tax free allowance.
SOCIAL CARE COSTS —- all the other Parties are being very careful not to offend elderly voters and therefore they have nothing to say about Social Care. They are all very good at criticising the current situation, but their only solution in improving it is “MORE MONEY”. They obviously have no regard to the changing demographics amongst the elderly population and the dramatic rise which is forecast in the number of over 85’s in the next 10 years. With this kind of cowardice amongst politicians, the inadequate state of Social Care in this country will never be resolved.
HOUSING —- The country has a desperate housing shortage and all Parties, Conservatives included, are promising to increase the supply of new housing. The promises are all in the order of 300,000 new houses a year, which is pie in the sky! The current output of new houses is less than 150,000 a year. This is accompanied by a number of ragbag initiatives, many of which have been tried and failed in the past:-
- speeding up the planning system;
- building on brown field sites;
- building on green belt sites;
- not building on green belt sites;
- building prefabricated factory built houses;
- building whole new towns;
In relation to this, only a small proportion of this housing would be for older people. So even it were to happen, it is unlikely to make a very big impact on the growing, elderly population.
Only the Last Laugh Looney Party has an incredible housing solution to this problem :-). Moving older people and their assets off-shore away from all this political prevarication.
VOTE FOR THE LAST LAUGH LOONEY PARTY TODAY !