‘Abolish the state pension’: meet UKIP’s new economics spokesperson

The proposal has been dismissed as "incoherent" and "bizarre" by pensions experts.

Considering UKIP’s electoral base is largely drawn from the over-60s, you would think the party would have a carefully tailored set of policy proposels to woo this section of the electorate.

The importance of the so-called ‘grey vote’ is recognised by the three major parties, and is evident in the way they assiduously court older voters. Young people have felt the burden of the recession more than most yet last week’s budget gave the biggest boost to pensioners. And it makes sense that politicians behave in this fashion: older people vote, after all, whereas young people very often don’t.

Someone ought to tell UKIP’s new economics spokesperson this, however.

As well as suggesting that solar panels should be installed on pensioners’ homes (presumably to tackle the man-made climate change they don’t believe exists) and that the Bank of England should be abolished, UKIP’s new economics guru Steven Woolfe has called for the abolition of the state pension and its replacement with a private system.

The proposal has been dismissed as “incoherent” and “bizarre” by pensions experts.

Commenting on Woolfe plan, head of pensions research at Hargreaves Lansdown Tom McPhail said:

“There is nothing like a coherent and well-thought through retirement policy; and this is nothing like a coherent pensions policy,” Lansdown said.

Think tank Strategic Society Centre director James Lloyd also called the hairbrain scheme “bizarre”:

“This would take hundreds of years of strict public finances to have an impact. It is bizarre UKIP could be going after the state pension when its core voters are pensioners.”

As a result UKIP has already sought to distance itself from Woolfe, claiming his ideas were “never party policy and are not under consideration”.

Not that this is the first UKIP policy that’s bizarre or incoherent, of course.

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