Sunday, February 12, 2012

A very bad week for the UK's older age group

I have written a lot about the way that the UK's Coalition Government view older people as huge money-box that they can raid whenever the going gets tough. The terrible Mr Willetts started this off with his book Pinch that tried to demonise older people and set them up for the policies that are fast depleting  their hard earned income. First there was the willingness to let inflation rip, then the pressure to retain interests rates at 0.5% and then a stream of QE - quantitative easing - the lovely term for enabling the Bank of England to keep the cost of the UK's debt at low levels.

The toxic effects of QE are well explained by Dr. Ros Altmann, Director-General of Saga.

The Bank of England has consistently ignored the dreadful damage that its QE policy is inflicting on older people.  With annuity rates falling by about 25% over the last four years as a result of QE, over a million pensioners will be permanently poorer for the rest of their lives as they have bought an annuity at rates that have been artificially depressed by the Bank of England.

The terrifying thing is that most older people have no idea what the implications are of all of this financial engineering, although they probably have a lot my idea than most young people.

With all eyes looking towards the asylum that is Greece, few have noticed the fundamental shifts in economic power that are taking place in the UK with older people being the worst hit - by far.

My political friends tell me that the view in Government is that with the only option for the older electorate of having a Labour Government ( a fate worse than death) means the Coalition Government do just about anything it wants - I keep hearing the phrase: " so where else can they (older people) go".

The result of this targeting of the disposable income of older people will start to be noticed by marketers. We all know that younger people are having a tough time of things but they do have time on their side to rebuild their finances. This is not a luxury for the 50-plus. What is happening now is going to change their lifestyle expectations for ever. Dick Stroud

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