PM Rishi Sunak’s Battle for Pensioner Support Amid Tax Concerns

PM Rishi Sunak's Battle for Pensioner Support Amid Tax Concerns

London (Parliament News) – PM Rishi Sunak navigates pensioner support amidst tax concerns. Analysts critique Jeremy Hunt’s plans while Labour seeks pensioner votes. Polls reveal Tory support among the elderly.

Rishi Sunak is trying to head off a rebellion by older voters with a promise that his Government will always support pensioners. He has been pricked by claims he is ­alienating the over-65s with tax strolls.

An inflation-busting peak in the state pension came into force yesterday, increasing payments by £902.20 a year up to £11,502. Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride stated: “8.5 per cent addition to state pension and our track record demonstrates, this government will always back our pensioners.” 

Are Conservative MPs Worried About Potential Setbacks?

According to Express, Conservative MPs worry the giveaway has been damaged by a series of ­blunders. A former Cabinet Minister stated last night: “We have got this wrong.”Tory MPs are upset about the freeze in income tax thresholds which represents 1.6 million more pensioners are becoming liable for income tax.

What are the Concerns Surrounding Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s Plans?

Analysts also point to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s failure to describe how he will pay for his Budget announcement that he wishes to abolish National Insurance, spent by working people.

There are fears the Chancellor would hike up income tax, which is paid by pensioners as well as workers.

Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves last night projected a ­bid for pensioner votes by encouraging those who “may never have voted for the Labour Party before in your life” to support her party in the forthcoming general election.

Are Recent Decisions Disadvantaging Pensioners?

A former Cabinet Minister stated: “Some of our recent decisions do seem to be designed to disadvantage pensioners and that seems to be a mistake.

“I think fellow MPs are concerned that the leadership of the party is not very ­political, and it just doesn’t think about what effect decisions have on people who might vote Conservative.”

Mr Hunt described to the House of Commons his “long-term ambition” is to axe National Insurance entirely, without defining how the ­ambitious plan would be funded. Labour last night issued an analysis which revealed replacing employee National Insurance contributions with higher income tax would command a retired pensioner with earnings of £25,000 an extra £808 more every year.

How Are Pensioners Affected by Tax Bills?

Writing in today’s Sunday Express, Rachel Reeves stated: “The biggest threat to pensioners now comes from another five years of the Conservatives, with their careless and irresponsible £46billion pledge to abolish National Insurance altogether.”

A former Minister stated: “It just goes to show that throwaway lines ought to be thought about before you throw them away”. An MP on the right of the party stated: “The way the Chancellor made the statement wasn’t helpful even if there are good grounds for having a more s­treamlined tax system.”

Analysis by the House of Commons Library has verified that pensioners are already meeting higher tax bills, with an ­additional 1.6 million older people exposed to income tax by 2028 because the Government has frozen the point at which they start to pay.

Who Are the Main Supporters of the Tories According to Polls?

Polls indicate the over 65s are the only ­age-group currently supporting the Tories, with 36 per cent saying they would vote Conservative if an election was held tomorrow while 21 per cent would back Labour according to a recent YouGov survey.

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.