Cameron goes after the wrinklies

THE Conservatives have made a major pitch for the “grey vote” as David Cameron claiming they were being “airbrush” out of society.Mr Cameron, who needs the votes of the growing army of elderly voters to propel him into Down Street, accused Labour of focusing on young people for too long and ignored crucial contribution the over 50s could make to the economy.

By Graham Dines

THE Conservatives have made a major pitch for the “grey vote” as David Cameron claiming they were being “airbrush” out of society.

Mr Cameron, who needs the votes of the growing army of elderly voters to propel him into Down Street, accused Labour of focusing on young people for too long and ignored crucial contribution the over 50s could make to the economy.

In a major speech in London to voluntary organisations looking after the concerns of the elderly, Mr Cameron said retirement should be a “process, not an event”' allowing people to reduce their hours and responsibilities gradually.


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“For many years older people have been airbrushed out of the picture. They are seen as somehow outside popular culture and they don't get a lot of attention in politics,” said Mr Cameron.

“Rather than seeing older people as liabilities, we need to see them as contributors. That doesn't mean they are going to work flat out like they did when they are 30. But the important thing is that they should be able to work part time after the age of 65 if they want to.

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“We need to see retirement as a process, not an event - a slope, not a cliff. We need to allow salaries to coast downwards from their peak, as workers take on lighter responsibilities and shorter hours.

“Real and lasting damage has been done to pensioners and savings by Gordon Brown. In 1997 we had one of the strongest private pension systems in the world. Not any more.

“The notorious raid on the pensions funds has taken £5b a year out of people's savings. Since 1997, 60,000 company pension schemes have closed.”

He said there were 11,000,000 Baby Boomers about to reach retirement and that currently one in six people in the UK were aged 65 or above. By 2036, that figure will be more than one in four.

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