The Election 2015: What Lies Ahead for the Elderly After May 7th?
A recent YouGov poll revealed that a staggering 93% of voters over 55 intended to vote in the upcoming election. With the ever increasing older population in Britain you would expect the political parties would be trying to win the 'grey vote'.
So far, none
of the parties appear to have produced an offering in their manifestos which give older people clear assurance of the future.
Chief amongst concerns for the elderly are health and social care
the main parties promise more funding and a more integrated health and social care service with the Conservatives and Labour pledging a greater number of staff for the NHS
Labour has focused on providing more time for carers to spend on home visits but none of the parties have really identified where all these extra resources are going to come from.
Issues will remain of substandard care service paid for or supplemented by the elderly person’s own assets
. This is despite the forthcoming capping on care home fees
which will still take a significant proportion of the average family home or savings – up to £72,000 from April 2016.
Party policy commitments towards pensions are also all in a similar vein with all the main parties promising to annually raise the state pension based on inflation, average earnings or 2.5%. Uncertainty still abounds as to the impact in real terms that pensions and benefits will have on the standard of living for retired people.
Not Old, Just Distinguished?
There is likely to be more tinkering with private pension schemes after the election
adding to the already bewildering array of options and regulations in the pension sector.
So for the older voter there is very little to distinguish between the parties. None of the main manifestos are pension friendly and a focus on winter payments for the elderly misses the broader picture.Finally, a mention must be made of the Conservatives approach to Inheritance Tax. They pledge to increase the inheritance tax allowance for married couples to £1 million, but didn’t we hear the same promise 5 years ago?