Who should older Labour supporters be voting for?

The leadership candidates offer varying degrees of support to the over-50s


There’s no denying that Tory policy can be heavily skewed toward benefiting the elderly.

With the older generation more likely to turn out to the polling station on Election Day, it’s not surprising that keeping them sweet is high up their priority list.

But this remains an afterthought for the Labour Party. With the leadership process underway, and the party at something of a crossroads, the impact on pensioners – their retirement savings and what the party can offer to the elderly – has been forgotten again, with the media instead focusing on mud-slinging between the opponents, attacking candidates and bafflingly, desperate propaganda.

So what could the new leader mean for the over-50s?

Liz Kendall

As shadow minister for care and older people, the well-being of the elder generation could play a big part in Labour’s policies should Kendall be elected as the party’s next leader.

She has already discussed shifting the focus of the NHS away from an infectious disease and accident-focused, hospital-based system, combining the current health service with a more care-focussed approach.

And the fact that some are labelling her ‘Tory-lite’ could mean that the market holds strong, which would be good news for pension savings and investments.

However, she has asked for a review into the ‘£100bn of tax reliefs’ in a bid to close the fiscal gap: should this get underway, certain tax reliefs could be cut.

Andy Burnham

Burnham attacked the Tory party ahead of the General Election for ‘letting older people down’.

Alongside shadow Work and Pensions secretary Rachel Reeves, he outlined several plans for older people that, should he come to lead the party, he would no doubt look to implement.

These include protecting the triple lock state pension to ensure pension subsidy from the state rises according to living costs each year, and ensuring no changes to free TV licences or bus passes.

However, Labour had pledged to cut the Winter Fuel Allowance from the top earning 5 per cent of pensioners, a move that could be carried across as one of Burnham’s policies.

Jeremy Corbyn

The current leadership favourite has just been dealt quite the boost to his campaign, with economics experts endorsing his so-called ‘Corbynomics’ and his opposition to austerity as mainstream economics.

But Corbyn likely won’t be a popular leader with the ‘Baby Boomer’ generation, particularly those wealthy in assets. His plans to increase taxation for the wealthy could have severe financial implications when it comes to them taking advantage of their savings.

Yvette Cooper

Like Liz Kendall, Cooper is keen to integrate the NHS with social care services. By restricting zero hour contacts, she also hopes to stop the culture of 15-minute social care visits for the elderly.

She hit out at Corbyn for stating that investors would not be compensated should privatised industries be handed back to the state – a move that she says would severely damage pension investments.

While Cooper’s policies focus heavily on working families and the housing crisis, like the other candidates her manifesto makes no specific reference to pensioners and what the labour party can do for them.


Tim Starkey recently questioned whether the Labour party has anything left to offer the elderly – and this is something that all the candidates should be looking to address.

While they need to inspire the voters that they lost to the SNP, UKIP, and even the Conservatives in this year’s election, failing to inspire the core voting demographic could lead to another disastrous result for the party in 2020, no matter who’s leading.

Ryan Smith writes on behalf of My Retirement Options. He is part of the content development team at Local Financial Advice.

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18 Responses to “Who should older Labour supporters be voting for?”

  1. GTE

    The problem is that the state owes 9,200 bn for its pensions with zero assets.

    So you have no choice to screw the pensioners.

    The Tories have made a calculated decision. Support pensioners for now, and not welfare claimants. Move to force welfare claimants into work.

  2. JoeDM

    How about repaying the billions in lost compound interest stolen by Gordon Brown since his 1997 raid on pensions !!!

  3. madasafish

    Pensioners vote. Self proclaimed Labour supporters don’t.

    And then they wonder why they are ignored?

  4. Paul Gleeson

    Well I am one baby boomer who has already voted for Corbyn

  5. Chris Kitcher

    Sorry but voting for a leader should be about delivering a society that we would like to live in, not a society that panders to the wishes of individuals. Since the bitch Thatcher reduced politics to the personal level we have had a deterioration of our society to the point that we are all self centred and don’t think about any that are poorer than the rest of us. What a sad reflection on the UK that once led the world in compassion and care for the vulnerable?

  6. Man the Barricades

    Many of our pensioners who lived through the postwar years and beyond enjoyed the benefits brought by every Labour Government in the teeth of opposition from the Tories. From the institution of the NHS to the introduction of the minimum wage, the Tories and their apologists and supporters in the media have dissembled and twisted logic to attempt to stop the progress. Most of those pensioners, whether relatively wealthy or not can now see the effect of successive Tory policies on the future for their children and their grandchildren. They are already saying that the furure generations will not enjoy the civilised benefits they did. They forsee an end to free health care and education, a widening of the gap between rich and poor. They already are waking up to the realisation that British manufacturing industry has been decimated in pursuit of bigger financial returns by allowing unlimited investment overseas where wage bills were lower and now with a service economy based largely on the fragile finance sector and with Britain a Plutocracy rather than a Democracy they are facing perhaps their last chance to change Britain for the better.


    And you get a Tory Government again.

  8. madasafish

    Please continue and consign Labour to where it belongs.

  9. dcomplex

    Great job, labour traded the greatest empire in history for the NHS, and in doing so consigned much of the world to a half-century of chaos and war.


    That is a strange explanation for giving up an Empire considering we should never have had an Empire.

  11. Man the Barricades

    Did you know that a deficiecy in Vitamin D can result in cognitive impairment in older adults. Be careful! By the way, there was nothing to trade. If you want to blame someone, try the USA. They crippled us with debt for Lend Lease which wasn’t finally paid off until 2006. The reason was clear. They wanted an end to the British Empire as did nearly all of the Empire itself. Try some sunshine vitamin dcomplex and your cognitive impairment might improve.

  12. Jean Hardiman Smith

    We didn’t trade the Empire for the NHS we traded it to beat the Germans – the money we owed to the USA nearly brought us to our knees. It is all in the history books, unless IDS has censored them. Anyway what is so great about keeping people under miliatary rule to exploit them? Your wonderful Empire did the same to its own people too..just read Dickens to get a sample of how the average person lived in this glorious Empire!! Children down mines and up chimneys, lttle girls being imregnated by their employers then sent to the workhouse, and so on ad nauseum. We have had half a century of chaos and war due to the US empire and our love of its coat tails!!

  13. dcomplex

    Oh yes, the US is totally responsible for putting the absolute worst tyrants and despots in charge of Africa and for all of the wars and decay that followed.

    The US is responsible for the Labor party’s reneging on its promise to repeal the MacDonald White Paper in Mandatory Palestine, setting the stage for the revolt and civil war that followed.

    And regarding the Empire, you think that the Empire is the same thing as Hannoverian/Victorian Britain? The Empire employed a massive civil service and brought order and freedom to people all over the world. Sure, there were excesses and problems, but you have to remember that the question is not always “good or bad”, but “evil or lesser evil”, and the British Empire was the least-bad Empire around, especially toward the end.

  14. dcomplex

    Excuses excuses. Britain retained her Empire through the wars with Napoleon, when the natives were far more hostile, and having financed 7 or 8 Coalition wars (and the Peninsular resistance/Guerilla war in Iberia). The dissolution of the Empire was a conscious decision beginning with the forfeiture of the Raj.

  15. dcomplex

    It’s not an explanation. It’s just annoying that people so laud the NHS but ignore that Labour turned Britain into a joke.

    And the idea that Britain shouldn’t have an Empire is laughable. The rules are that either you have an Empire, or you are part of one. Right now, Britain is part of the fourth German Empire, that is, the European Union.

  16. nana

    baby boomer who has’nt voted corbyn.back to the 80’s? there was an article in The Times recently.Age UK,and other charities said the poorer baby boomers,and pensioners were in Manchester.not heard an apology yet from a Times leader writer,who said ‘baby boomers get off the gravy train’.the election campaign pitted the baby boomers against the younger generation.the argument that pensioners don’t vote labour north of the M25 really angered long time labour voters,calling northerners ‘thick’ compounded the issue.we voted all our lives.in trade unions campaigning for all.yet in our dotage we get kicked by a Labour Party who we,and our families have voted Labour for decades.why?

  17. Terry Kelly

    All ! Labour supporters should be voting for Jeremey Corbyn.

  18. Terry Kelly

    Given the chance he would do it again and I would support him because he was right.

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