The government has today insisted that pensions should rise by the rate of inflation, while insisting pay restraint is essential for unionised workers, despite the fact that only 67% of pensioners vote Tory.
As the RMT union continues strike action in search of better pay and working conditions, the government has been pushing to ensure that pensioners get precisely the sort of rise being denied rail workers.
Government junior minister Simon Williams told us, “33% of people over 70 voted for someone else, so anyone suggesting we are only happy to help people financially as long as they vote for us is being completely ridiculous.
“Why would we be trying to ensure pensions go up by about 11% to ‘keep pensioners sweet’ at a difficult time for us in the polls, when even your own figures show a third of pensioners wouldn’t vote for us if their lives depended on it. That doesn’t sound very ‘self serving’ to me?
“I’ll put this as simply as I can. Pensioners deserve a rise in their income at the level of inflation to ensure they don’t get a real-terms reduction during a cost of living crisis, but RMT union members should exercise restraint because an inflation level pay rise during a cost of living crisis would be bad for the country.”
Meanwhile, people capable of seeing through a transparent attempt to curry favour with a politically important demographic while struggling in the polls have insisted that giving pensioners a rise linked to inflation is a good thing.
Voter Derek Matthews told us, “Merely suggesting the government is being hypocritical to be giving pensioners an RPI-level increase while denying a similar rise to unionised workers doesn’t mean you want pensioners to lose their increase. Quite the opposite. It merely means you would like to see everyone looked after.
“Maybe if the unions started voting Tory they too could find themselves being looked after?”