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Older Voters Warning to the Tories


Serina Sandhu

September 13, 2021


Dozens of Conservative MPs have been warned the party is losing older voters over the betrayal of the state pension triple lock. Hundreds of constituents have written to their local MPs to register their disappointment in the party.


In one letter a former Conservative supporter said: “Please tell Boris [Johnson] from me that because of what he is doing to pensioners, thousands will not vote Tory again. My wife and I will not.


“He has broken all the Tory manifesto promises and will not be supported,” they said.


The news is likely to be worrying for the Government which, according to the Politics Home website, has been asking MPs how many unhappy emails they have been receiving.


Last week, Work and Pensions Secretary Thérèse Coffey announced that the triple lock would be scrapped for one year to avoid giving older people an unusually high state pension boost. The policy ensures the state pension increases each year by whichever is the highest of earnings, inflation or 2.5 per cent.


But the Government decided to remove the earnings link for one year to account for the way wages have become distorted in the pandemic – despite the fact it would break an election manifesto pledge.


Silver Voices, which campaigns for over-60s, said it had received hundreds of complaints from disgruntled older people, with many including correspondence to their local MPs.

Others have said they are resigning from the party “over the perceived indifference of the Government to the needs of older people as we come out of the pandemic”, according to Silver Voices director Dennis Reed.


Alongside fury over the triple lock, some are upset about the end of universal free TV licences for over-75s.

“The Conservative Party is now reaping its just reward for breaking the manifesto promise to honour the triple lock,” said Mr Reed on reports that voters would abandon the party. “The anger will continue to grow as prices for essential goods and services rise, and older people realise how much per week has been stolen from them.

“Silver Voices will be campaigning to get the triple lock restored all the way up to next April, when the pension increase is due.”

Mr Reed also took aim at Age UK after its charity director, Caroline Abrahams, said: “If suspending the triple lock for a single year helps get a Government deal on social care over the line then I believe it’s a price worth paying, but only if it really is just a one-off measure and not a sneaky way for ministers to ditch the triple lock altogether.”

He said he was “astounded that a charity supposedly arguing for the best interests of older people has the arrogance to speak on behalf of hard-up pensioners in saying that the flawed social care plan is a price worth paying”.



© Serina Sandhu / The i 2021



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