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Cameron continues silver offensive

24 March 2014

6:22 PM

24 March 2014

6:22 PM

David Cameron is doing his best to do what the Tories haven’t always been that impressive at: capitalising on the clever political bits in this year’s Budget. He was at a PM direct event in Peacehaven today, driving home the importance of the government’s reforms to pensions to his target voters.

But he also had the opportunity to woo them with other policy treats, such as what the Tories might promise on inheritance tax in their next manifesto. ‘Would I like to go further in future?’ he said. ‘Yes, I would. I believe in people being able to pass money down through the generations and pass things on to their children.’ He added that ‘it’s something we’ll have to address in our manifesto’.

That he’s prepared to drop this big a hint is a sign that the Tories feel the economic mood has changed: people will only worry about inheritance tax if they think they’re going to have enough left to pass on to their family. And he’s clearly less worried about headlines suggesting the Tories are just helping their rich friends.

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Where he was a little less clear was on pensioner perks, repeatedly telling the gathering that the Conservatives had kept their promise to protect those benefits in this parliament but that ‘I don’t want to pre-judge’ the decisions in the next manifesto. He did argue though that ‘you save a tiny amount of money’ by means-testing those benefits.

Cameron knows that keeping promises is important: one of the reasons he has been so stubborn on pensioner benefits in the face of increasing campaigning from George Osborne and Iain Duncan Smith on the matter is that he saw what happened to the Lib Dems when they let down their target voters on tuition fees. And pensioners are more likely to vote than students. But he also knows that the Lib Dems want to do something with many of these benefits after 2015, and that his own colleagues think it’s untenable to make another ‘read-my-lips’ pledge.

You can read his full quotes below:

On inheritance tax:

‘Would I like to go further in future? Yes I would. I believe in people being able to pass money down through the generations and pass things on to their children. I think you build a stronger society like that and I think of course we should, you know, we have to have caps and limits and you have to think about those but generally speaking we should be encouraging people to pass things on to their children. And one of the reasons why George Osborne made that pledge was this point about property, was that when the limit was £300,000 or so, quite a lot of, you know, hardworking families who had worked hard, who’d saved, who’d put that money into the house were being caught by inheritance tax. And inheritance tax should only really be paid by the rich, it shouldn’t be paid for by people who worked hard, who saved and who bought a family house, in say Peacehaven. So the ambition is still there, I would like to go further, it’s better than it was but it didn’t make it into the coalition agreement but it’s something we’ll have to address in our manifesto.’

On pensioner benefits:

‘I made a very clear pledge at a Saga gathering and I made it again at the election that we should keep the pensioner benefits, obviously all pledges are about the parliament that you’re going into and we make new pledges in our manifesto for the next parliament. But we said very clearly we would up-rate the basic state pension, we’d keep the winter fuel allowance, the free TV licence, the bus pass, the cold weather payments. We’ve done all of those things, we’ve kept our promises in all of those areas, we’ll set out or policy for the next parliament at the next election. I don’t want to pre-judge that. The only thing I would say is that people who think you save lots of money by not giving those benefits to upper rate, top-rate taxpayers, you save a tiny amount of money and you always introduce another complexity into the system. So, you know, but we made our promise in this parliament, we’ve kept our promise in this parliament we’ve kept our promise in this parliament, and I’m very proud of that because I don’t think older people in Britain should be asked to suffer for the difficult decisions that we have to make and making promises and keeping promises is a very important part of politics, and you know woe betide the politician that makes one of these promises and says oh well sorry I didn’t mean it.’

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Show comments
  • Frank

    Ha ha “silver offensive”, yes – Dave is full of empty promises. The issue Isabel, is that you have to believe that Dave will be the next PM. I have yet to find many who do believe this.

  • HookesLaw

    The busy life of a Prime Minister.
    A Saga event in Peacehaven one minute and preserving world peace in Holland the next.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …and 1/2 empty rooms of yawning people at both.

  • PT

    The Tories chances of victory are increasing by the day. They’ve achieved the most important economic outcome – that of strongly rising house prices. Now that momentum is gathering, throwing in the double treat of access to pension wealth and huge tax free inheritance (both of which will largely be ploughed into property, BTL etc), the key voters should begin swarming back.

    Those whose parents don’t have property/pension wealth a kinda screwed though. These people will become the renters, with much of their income captured by those above.

    • saffrin

      Will renters be happy to elect a Government whose policies will see their rent go up and up?
      Will those same renters be voting for a party that uses their tax money to subsidise those rising house prices?
      Will enough voters be willing to vote for a party that intends to keep the immigration doors wide open, one that sells British passports to anyone with enough money to buy one, a party intent on killing off the green fields of Britain with sprawling housing estates?
      A party led by a war criminal I might add.

      • PT

        There’s not enough renters yet, and those that are largely remain under 30. Also, renters don’t tend to vote as much due to being poorer and not having a real stake in the community. Oh, and renters who do vote tend not to vote Tory anywhere.

        • saffrin

          You hope.

      • HookesLaw

        You are a crude crass idiot.
        If indeed more property was bought for rent then there would be more property available to rent and so more competition and lower rents. But its the pensioners money – why is it any interest of yours what they do?:

        House buyers pay a fee for the benefit of taking part in the govt scheme – which provides a deposit because the banks ruined under labour are not offering 120% mortgages any more.
        Buyers pay for the privilege its not free money. But then you are thick.

        • saffrin

          I’ll take that as confirmation I’m right and you’re running.

    • HookesLaw

      Why will pensions ‘largely’ be ploughed into property? How easy is it to get your money out of property when you might need it? how much hard work and other expense goes into managing a property? Why would it be wise to put all ones eggs into a property basket?
      How much return would an investor get after putting down a deposit and paying a mortgage and making repayments out of rent.

      Currently people are not saving for a pension. Under pre budget conditions there was just as if not more incentive for workers to invest in property AS a pension. Now there is more incentive to actually invest in a proper pension plan knopwing you are not stuck with an annuity.

      You just spout wild hysteria.

  • Smithersjones2013

    But he also had the opportunity to woo them with other policy treats,
    such as what the Tories might promise on inheritance tax in their next
    manifesto.

    So Cameron is trotting out the same spin he used before the last election. Clearly Izzy hasn’t heard the old adage:

    Fool Me once. Shame On You, Fool Me Twice, Shame On Me

    People won’t be fooled by Cameron…..

    • HookesLaw

      Ah envy jelousy and malice – keep it going.

    • wycombewanderer

      The lib dems refused to allow the policy into the coalition agreement, that’s why it wasn’t implemented.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …then the Camerluvvies should bring it up for a vote, immediately. Words mean little, especially if they’re Dave’s. Nobody believes a word that passes out of this muppet’s mouth.

  • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

    Those who vote get the goodies. Same as it ever was.

    • Fergus Pickering

      Why should they not? Who doesn’t have a vote?

    • Kitty MLB

      What about those who from third world countries who move here and
      despise our culture, ( labours imported voters) they can claim
      goodies very quickly and have not spent a lifetime paying taxes
      and investing wisely.

  • Lady Magdalene

    I seem to recall that Cameron and Osborne “promised” to raise IHT to £1million in 2007. Then in 2013 Osborne confirmed that the current threshold of £325,000 would be frozen until at least 2019.
    I very much doubt if this suggestion is any more bankable than the first one was.
    Jam tomorrow ….

  • wycombewanderer

    I’m not sure how you work out that this is appealing to the ‘silver’ vote as the beneficiaries will be their children!

    • Mike Barnes

      Yeah, very old children. 50-60 year olds inheriting their 80-90 year old parent’s houses.

      It’s still a grey vote.

    • Alexsandr

      quite. those who already have a rip off annuity get nothing.

  • davebush999

    Good old Dave, playing to the wealthiest 6%. Why should those inheriting not pay tax on unearned income? The exemptions are already too generous.

    • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

      Prepare for the attacks of the landlords and their feudal lackies.

  • Kitty MLB

    Frankly Cameron needs to be heard more often, instead of some
    inane Lib Dem Minister or Cleggie speaking for the government, they are the junior
    partners in this coalition and yet we hear them more than any conservative.
    Cameron may have made errors along the way, the biggest one of all was trusting
    the Lib Dems. He needs to build bridges with the grass roots, remind people
    that he is a conservative and that pensioners should stop being patronised
    and will be trusted with their own money. Also its imperative that he separates
    himself from the loathsome tree hugging Lib Dums.

    • telemachus

      Fortunately for the country the grass roots are sufficiently alienated from the soft right Downing Street elite to either abstain or vote UKIP at the GE
      I include Clegg, no tree hugger, as part of the soft right
      Not Cable
      If LibDem seats are needed to give us robust power in May 2015 then either Vince or Simon will need to lead them

      • Kitty MLB

        Balderdash, son of Odysseus.
        The grassroots regardless of how peeved they
        are with Cameron know that their duty is to
        protect the country from another Labour rampage.
        Lib Dems led by Cable or Hughes show just how
        out of touch you are, mind you, we should not
        be surprised you want bonkers Balls as leader.

  • RavenRandom

    Now they need to get back the blue collar Tories. Those Thatcher had who are aspirant, want to keep their own money, see taxes go down and reduce payments to Labour’s client state. Time for the Conservatives to say “hey it’s all right to keep your own money” stop fighting in Labour and the Lib Dems politics of envy sand pit.

    • Rowdie111

      Yes we can leave the ‘politics of envy and despair’ to Labour and Lib/dems. The biggest slug of the public are more in tune with budgets for ‘workers’ and ‘savers’.

      • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

        This from the government presiding over a situation where the majority of those in poverty are in work.

        • Rowdie111

          We have not had much in the way of pay rises for the past 3 – 4 years. (Well I am an OAP….and we’ve done pretty well); but normally in recessions and I have seen many, (this coupled with the banking crash – the worst ever)….you don’t get pay rises, many get thrown out of work as business’s collapse, or have to put people on short time or lay them off.
          I live in a Labour town…..a council estate around the corner….we have a town bus service which you see going past with hardly any people on…but at school times the roads are blocked; you wiser not to go out in your car when the school runs on.
          But to listen to the ‘lefties’….the country is like some back street in Bangladesh.

        • HookesLaw

          What a pity the present govt inherited a busted economy.

          • saffrin

            What a pity the recovery is based on taxpayer subsidised mortgage guarantees.
            Such a shame Cameron can’t be believed or trusted in or with anything.

          • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

            The economy was growing when Labour left office.

            • Colonel Mustard

              Keep repeating that Big Lie for Labour, Mr Goebbels.

            • Hexhamgeezer

              Dead cat bounce

              • MirthaTidville

                Yes, but as with all socialists, their naive inane ramblings do give one a chuckle..The danger comes of course when they actually believe their drivel

                • Kitty MLB

                  That is the trouble. Self delusion, never believing you are wrong, never capable of mistakes and never apologising,
                  even when your country is on its knees. Even then. write that
                  note like its some huge joke. The likes of Telemachus are amusing but there is a real danger of dictatorship behind the inane ramblings.

              • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

                Nope, standard recovery, swiftly throttled by Osborne’s economic incompetence.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Yeah. That’s it.

        • RavenRandom

          Labour’s magic money tree never existed. If you define poverty as a percentage of the population below the average wage, in a nation of millionaires you would have poverty.
          Perhaps you can tell me what Labour… and not using the magic money tree would do? If you can you’re doing better than the policyless Miliband.

          • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

            That the model breaks down under extreme conditions not found in human societies does not make the model flawed.

            A jobs guarantee, a mass house building program and the removal of the rent-seeking arms of our European neighbours from our national utilities would be a start.

        • Fergus Pickering

          Define ‘in poverty’ old son. According to whom? I assert there is practically no-one in poverty in any meaningful sense. There are poor people, certainly. I should think the poorest people are old people and therefore not in work.

          • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

            This sort of ‘reductio ad Ethiopiam’ whereby if you’re better off than a starving African child you shouldn’t complain doesn’t really work though. It’s like a doctor saying you’re healthy unless you have stage 4 lymphoma and therefore refusing you healthcare.

            There are many, disputed, definitions of poverty. However the gist of most is social exclusion. If, despite working, you make too little to engage with wider society then that is a terrible thing for a member of a gregarious species to endure. You are less free, less happy, and less likely to feel you have any stake in the polis. Now we all might go through this from time to time, that may well be inevitable. But that long term, grinding low-pay no-pay situation destroys people and, I would argue, is more expensive in human and monetary terms than crafting a more equal society.

            There’s no room for wasted potential to be rotting in disaffection.

            • Kitty MLB

              Come on Sammy, admittedly there are
              people in this country who are struggling,
              this I might add being the consequencies
              of 13 years of Labour when the gap between
              the rich and poor became wider, and all of
              Labours policies had a detrimental affect
              on the poor.
              Yet, dear Sammy, we do not have true
              poverty, some think they are poor because
              they cannot afford the latest gadget,
              and some of these ‘poor’ people can still
              afford to go to the pub and holidays and
              get a lot of help from the government.
              Poverty is living in countries such as
              India&Africa, disease ridden, no free
              housing, healthcare or schooling.

    • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

      Thatcher received a smaller proportion of the vote in 1979 than Heath received in 1970, and it fell at each subsequent election.

      • HookesLaw

        There was double the swing
        Wilson in 1970 got 43.1 % compared to Thatcher’s 43.9% – he lost 76 seats and Thatcher won 62.
        What do you make of that?
        Cameron in 2010 of course won 97 seats …

        • southerner

          ….and failed to win a majority during an economic implosion against the worst PM and Chancellor in living memory.

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