Former Treasury minister attacks Labour over pensions policy

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Former Treasury minister Liam Byrne has admitted Labour failed to provide a compelling offering to retirees in the build up to the general election.

Byrne, who authored an infamous note informing his successor Danny Alexander that “there is no money” upon leaving government in 2010, said the Conservatives gained more than two million more votes from over 65s.

“While the Tories promised early access to pension pots, the triple lock, a council tax freeze and protection of winter fuel allowance for all, we had frankly very little to say,” Byrne wrote on Labour List.

“But here’s the timebomb. At the next election, there will be 1.6 million more voters over the age of 65 and 40 per cent of voters will be over 50. If we don’t put in place a brilliant offer for older voters, we are, quite simply, not going to get re-elected.”

Byrne’s comments come as pollster John Curtice reported the Labour party saw a huge divide between its popularity with older and younger voters.

Ipsos Mori has estimated that while Labour support was 12 points higher among 18 to 24 year olds, it was eight points lower among those over 65.

Curtice wrote in Institute for Public Policy Research journal Juncture: “Never before has Ipsos Mori recorded anything like as much as the 20 point difference in Labour support between older and younger voters that was in evidence in 2015,

“Labour may not have lost the middle-class vote, but it certainly lost the grey vote.”