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February 08, 2013

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Britmouse

"A looser fiscal policy would benefit pensioners by raising interest rates"

Just like all the "loose fiscal policy" which Japan tried? Those deficits sure got interest rates up!

Britmouse

I may have said "interest rates" when I meant "the public sector debt burden" in that last comment - forgive me.

;)

Shinsei1967

Surely the reason more pensioners don't make a fuss is because they realise their kids (and thus their grandkids) are struggling with mortgages at current low rates, plus higher weekly food, energy and petrol bills.

Not really in their extended family's interest for mortgage rates to double.

chris

@Sinsei1967 - I'm not sure about that. If it were so, you'd expect younger people - who have more to lose from rising mortgage rates - to be more supportive of govt policy, and more hostile to Labour. This is not so.

Lurker

Plenty of pensioners are skint and don't have savings- some even have mortgages. Not that I'm disagreeing with your thesis- but some pensioners might wish for a looser fiscal policy in the hope of generous benefits.

Indeed, arguably pensiobners are the only group continuing to benefit from government largesse- NHS spending sustained, winter fuel and bus passes retained. Maybe if the government cut those pensioners would be less keen on the government's "economic" policy.

Chris Purnell

OAP's will get 2.5% increase on their pensions & all their 'perks' are now inalienable rights. Poor pensioners are also uneffected by the additional living space rule, nor are they effected by council tax payments (unlike the working poor). Pensioners are a protected breed and they do vote, and think, rationally.

Blissex

Oh please the argument that low interest rates punish pensioners is ridiculous!

The entire rationale of a low interest rate, low wage policy practiced by the Coalition is to keep house prices as high as possible, and indeed instead of collapsing to realistic level they have merely decreased a bit.

About 60-70% of voters are landlords, and while there are few pensioners with mortgages, the vast majority of pensioners own the majority of equity in their houses and sit on massive tax free capital gains, as long as house prices stay high.

As long as house prices stay high, rents will be high, and currently pensioners can get 8-12% on the current price of their properties from rent, a current price that is probably 3-4 times the inflation adjusted price they paid, which means that rents represent a 25-35% return on the real prices they paid.

The pensioners who read the Telegraph and the Daily Mail are mostly in that category, they are the core Tory voters, and they are entirely focuses on ever higher house prices and rents and ever lower wages.

Even more interestingly politically the majority of property owners is middle aged or retired female voters, many because they are divorcees and widows, and middle aged and older female voters are critical "aspirational", "striver" swing blocks in most marginal constituencies, and the Tories are desperate to please that block of swing voters, at any cost to useless nobodies like the disabled and the unemployed or renters, which are overwhelmingly male and northerners.

PS: In ToryNewlabourSpeak "aspirational" "strivers" means "petty bourgeoisie of property speculators who got a windfall of massive tax free capital gains or expect to inherit such a windfall".

gexton

I may have said "interest rates" when I meant "the public sector debt burden" in that last comment - forgive me thankyou

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