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Government ignoring over 50s, says Altmann

By BFN News | 01:11 PM | Monday 20 May, 2013

The Government seems to have lost touch with core middle class voters, especially those over 50, according to a former Downing Street pensions adviser. Ros Altmann - an adviser during Tony Blair's premiership - says Government policy has rewarded debt and penalised savers and taken for granted those who have quietly and diligently tried to provide for themselves and their families, while being seen as soft on those who break the rules. Ordinary, law-abiding citizens have seen their incomes squeezed as earnings stagnate and inflation stays high. And Altmann says that if prime minister David Cameron wants to understand why voters are turning away from the main political parties, he needs look no further than his own core supporters. She continues: "What do mainstream Tories value? They value the principles of self-reliance, saving for the future, fair welfare and taxation policies and 'doing the right thing'. "So far, however, policy has punished savers and helped borrowers. It has encouraged people to take on more debt (e.g. Help to Buy) and low interest rates are pushing more people into speculating on the markets. Youth is at the heart of policy thinking, while older voters and their values seem to be ignored." Altmann adds: " My advice to the Government is that it should listen carefully to the concerns of its core traditional supporters. It should try to understand the lives of middle-class families who are struggling every day with the feeling that their values do not matter. Rather than boasting about how much money is being saved by raising the state pension age, Ministers should be praising the work ethic of older generations and expressing serious concerns about those who have saved for their future but now find their income prospects so damaged by monetary policy. Don't take the over 50s for granted. "This is not about 'old' versus 'young', it's about the values in society: This is not about 'old' versus 'young'. This is about the values that we want to uphold. Society relies on citizens living by the rules and those rules being upheld. If the young see that those who did what was required of them are later vilified for it, then there will be a breakdown of trust in authority." Story provided by

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