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Sunak Desperate £2.4bn Pre-Election Bribe for Pensioners

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Sunak’s desperation laid bare with pensioner bribe

Sunak is scrambling to keep his sinking Tory ship afloat, and his latest move proves just how desperate he is. He’s now throwing billions at pensioners, hoping it will fix the mess his party created.

For years, the Tories have torpedoed seniors’ living standards, stripping away vital supports and leaving many elderly adrift in poverty. 

Now, with his campaign shipwrecked, Sunak is trying to win back seniors’ votes. But can handing out lifejackets after pushing people into freezing waters really make up for anything?

Sunak claims he’s “boldly” showing that the Conservatives care about pensioners. But his track record says otherwise. This last-minute attempt is nothing more than a hypocritical election ploy.

He’s trying to take credit for partially reversing the damage his own party caused. Voters know that for years, Sunak watched as the most vulnerable went overboard without lifting a finger.

With an angry mutiny brewing, Sunak desperately needs the seniors who once kept him in power. He’s promising whatever it takes to keep them from jumping ship.

But after the Tory economic failures have left pensioners’ finances in tatters, it’s too little, too late. The iceberg has already hit, and no amount of desperate maneuvering will change that.

Sunak hypocrisy on full display with senior sweetener

Desperate to revive his flailing campaign, Rishi Sunak has pledged a £2.4 billion tax break for pensioners in a blatant pre-election bribe. But this deathbed conversion to helping struggling seniors comes after the Tories’ 14 years of betraying older people through vicious austerity cuts.  

Sunak promised to increase the income tax personal allowance for over-65s, giving them a tax cut worth around £100 in 2025-26. He claimed he was “boldly” demonstrating that the Conservatives are on pensioners’ side.

But behind the opportunistic rhetoric lies the cynical reality. This surprise giveaway is a panicked attempt to shore up elderly voters as Sunak’s leadership sinks. His government’s track record exposes the hypocrisy of this election gambit.

Under the Tories, pensioner poverty has risen sharply as benefits were slashed. Sunak himself oversaw the biggest ever real-terms cut to the state pension last April. And it was Tory Chancellor George Osborne who abolished age-related allowances in 2013. 

This so-called “granny tax” stripped over £3 billion from the incomes of millions of elderly people. Osborne justified it as a “simplification” – but in reality it was a cruel austerity measure targeting vulnerable retirees.

Far from being “bold”, Sunak’s desperate tax cut rehashes a policy his own party ditched. It comes after the Conservatives imposed the highest tax burden in 70 years. They have no credibility claiming to be on the side of pensioners.

Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow paymaster general, rightly said: “Why would anyone believe the Tories and Rishi Sunak after they left the country with the highest tax burden in 70 years? This is just another desperate move from a chaotic Tory party torching any remaining facade of its claims to economic credibility.

“Not only have they promised to spend tens of billions of pounds since this campaign began, they also have a completely unfunded £46 billion policy to scrap national insurance that threatens the very basis of the state pension.

“But Rishi Sunak is planning to reward Britain’s pensioners for their loyalty by stabbing them in the back, just like he did to Boris Johnson and just like he has done to his own MPs.”

Sunak’s measure will be funded through cracking down on tax dodgers – the same pot of money earmarked for his unworkable plan for mandatory  national service. 

He is plundering revenues needed for proper funding of public services to pay for populist gimmicks.

This traverse comes as Sunak battles for political survival amidst growing Tory revolt. Tory peer and former minister Lord Goldsmith scathingly warned he had “damaged the Party almost beyond repair and all but guaranteed the majority of his MPs will lose their job next month”. 

Sunak is cynically trying to woo the elderly voters the Conservatives rely upon.

But his move has been slammed as confusing, with experts pointing out it largely just avoids inflicting yet another stealth tax rise on pensioners. As economist Paul Johnson said, it is “mostly just avoiding a £100 tax increase, rather than an actual giveaway.”

The Resolution Foundation also highlighted how the biggest beneficiaries will be better-off households, not those actually struggling. It does little to help the millions of elderly people facing dire poverty after 14 years of Tory cuts and soaring inflation.  

This damning analysis exposes how Sunak’s poll promise does nothing to help the most vulnerable retirees impoverished by his government’s policies.

Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesperson Sarah Olney MP rightly said: “Rishi Sunak’s stealth tax hikes will blow a £1,000 hole in pensioners’ pockets by 2027, over four times more than what he is giving back with this meagre announcement.

“The Conservative Party has hammered pensioners with years of unfair tax hikes and broken their word on the triple lock. People won’t be fooled by yet another empty promise from Rishi Sunak after this record of failure.”

Yet despite this damning criticism, Rishi Sunak hypocritically said: “I passionately believe that those who have worked hard all their lives should have peace of mind and security in retirement.

“Thanks to the Conservatives’ Triple Lock, pensions have risen by £900 this year and now we will cut their taxes by around £100 next year.”

He added: “This bold action demonstrates we are on the side of pensioners. The alternative is Labour dragging everyone in receipt of the full state pension into income tax for the first time in history.”

Far from rewarding loyalty as he now claims, Sunak has practiced intergenerational betrayal. He has showered tax breaks on the wealthy while cutting support for poorer pensioners. This pre-election sweetener does not erase those disgraceful choices.

This deathbed promise to finally help older people comes far too little, far too late. It is a transparent attempt to stop the Conservatives’ support among the elderly crumbling amid Sunak’s shambolic leadership.

Tory pensioner cuts exposed Sunak hypocrisy

Sunak’s bots and PR teams will trumpet this as a big win for pensioners. But voters know that if the Tories had their way, they would still be picking the pockets of struggling seniors while giving handouts to the wealthiest.

Pensioners have been among the biggest victims of Tory austerity and mismanagement. Now their living standards are being hammered again by skyrocketing inflation. 

Sunak wants credit for partially reversing one small element of this vast historic betrayal. But he only intends to do so if his electoral back is against the wall.

For years Sunak happily signed off on cuts to the elderly and presided over a benefits system that leaves thousands in destitution. This £2.4 billion gambit does not absolve the suffering imposed by policies he supported and budgets he oversaw. His government’s treatment of the elderly has been shameful.

In a further sign of turmoil, Tory MP Lucy Allan dramatically quit on Monday after backing the Reform UK candidate to succeed her in the Telford constituency. 

An incredulous Lord Goldsmith asked if Sunak had “damaged the party beyond repair.” The captain is losing his crew as irreparable leaks spring across the ship.

The Conservatives are aggressively vying for the loyalty of senior citizens, their most steadfast voting demographic. However, a string of policy failures has dismantled the facade of Sunak’s steady leadership, exposing the underlying chaos and incompetence of his campaign.

Sunak’s rationale for targeting the younger population with service schemes hinges on the notion that older generations have borne greater sacrifices. 

This argument is undercut by figures like George Osborne, who previously stripped away age-related allowances, clearly disregarding such sacrifices. Sunak’s attempt to partially reverse these cuts, presenting it as a bold act of generosity, is nothing short of absurd.

Rather than bolstering Sunak’s position, this transparent £2.4 billion maneuver reeks of desperation. It is a cynical attempt by a floundering leader to pander to seniors with familiar platitudes. 

Voters are unlikely to be deceived by such overt electioneering, especially after enduring the severe hardships imposed by Tory policies. 

The meager state pensions and pervasive poverty resulting from years of austerity cannot be offset by last-minute incentives.

Citizens should be wary of grand gestures and promises from Sunak, who is facing electoral annihilation after years of betrayal. 

While he may now offer the moon with an election on July 4th, his track record reveals a stark reality: pensioners have consistently been marginalized, save for short-term electoral bribes like this one. 

The hypocrisy of Sunak’s current overtures is laid bare by his history of neglecting the needs of the elderly in favor of political expediency.

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