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Pensioners react to Osbourne’s ‘silver saver’ budget in Northampton

File photo dated 18/09/12 of money. George Osborne will make a pitch to ordinary working people today when he delivers his penultimate Budget before the general election.  PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday March 19, 2014. See PA BUDGET stories. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire PPP-140320-155236001

File photo dated 18/09/12 of money. George Osborne will make a pitch to ordinary working people today when he delivers his penultimate Budget before the general election. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday March 19, 2014. See PA BUDGET stories. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire PPP-140320-155236001

Northampton pensioners have been commenting on the 2014 budget with many claiming George Osbourne’s new measures are aimed at wooing ‘silver savers’.

Yesterday the Chancellor unveiled sweeping changes to the pensions system - introducing more generous interest rates for savers aged over 65.

Those nearing retirement will also be able to take money from their pension pots out in lump sums - without the need to buy an annuity.

However critics of this year’s budget, including Labour Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, have said this could lead to retirees spending their hard-saved money in one go.

Co-chairman of the Northampton Pensioners’ Forum Roger Rumsey, 73, said he did have some concerns that those nearing retirement would be swamped with marketing calls from insurance firms.

He said: “I can’t see people frittering it away.

“My concern is we are going to get financial advisors jumping on this bandwagon - calling us to say ‘I can get you a 100 per cent return on you savings by the end of the year’ and that sort of thing.”

Also a member of the pensioners’ forum, which meets regularly to discuss issues facing older people in the town, Michael Stone felt that some would be tempted to ‘fritter’ their savings.

“I can see people blowing it,” he said. “The first thing some people will think is ‘I’ll take out as much as I can now.”

Dave Hewitt, 64, of Kingsley, took early retirement and said he felt the budget was a cynical ploy to attract older voters a year away from the general election.

He said: “This budget shows George Osborne is terrified of UkIP - he is going for those people that have saved all their lives with one per cent interest rates.

“It’s about dragging back votes they have been leaking away.

“I think it was aimed at older people purely because older folk tend to vote more than younger people.”

Among the headline grabbing measures introduced in Wednesday’s budget, Taxes on bingo halls are also set to be halved, from 20 per cent to 10 per cent.

The Bingo Association had gathered more than 330,000 petition signatures and the support of a more than 50 MPs for the proposal.

 

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