Will protecting oldies’ perks stop the seepage to UKIP?

Will protecting oldies’ perks stop the seepage to UKIP?

Is this why seniors are being favoured over the young?

If the polls are to be believed the age segment which has shifted most to UKIP in recent months has been the oldies. Most days the News International survey by YouGov shows them supporting Farage’s party more than any other sector of the electorate – a trend that’s seen from just about all the pollsters.

The oldies are the group which seems to have turned most against Dave in the leadership ratings. From very big margins only three or four months ago there has been a sharp decline in backing for the PM from the over 60s.

    So is this why the one section of the population that has been least affected by the austerity programme have been the oldies even those who are relatively well off.

    We get free local bus travel throughout England, a payment towards fuel costs at Christmas, and free TV licences when we turn 75.

That last benefit was introduced in such a cack-handed manner by Gordon Brown resulting in millions of households where there are younger people still getting the exemption. This is all are provided irrespective of the financial position of the recipients.

Does Dave think that bribing pensioners will stop then considering voting UKIP or not voting at all?

Everything goes back to the final TV debate of the 2010 general election. By all reports there was a level of panic at the time in the blue camp as it was becoming increasingly apparent that they were going to miss out on a majority. Then Dave was asked about pensioners perks which had been the subject of mischief-making by Labour.

    Dave’s response with the cameras on him was: “We will keep the free television licence, we will keep the pension credit, the winter fuel allowance and the free bus pass. Those letters you’ve been getting from Labour are pure and simple lies…”

Since then the challenges facing the coalition on the economy have got worse and worse and now the thinking is that next round of cuts should be targeted on the young.

I think Dave has got this badly wrong. It looks so cynical.

Mike Smithson @MSmithsonPB

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