Healthcare trumps economy

While Malcolm Turnbull focuses on ‘Jobs and Growth’, he’s missing the mark with older voters, with 52 per cent claiming health is the issue that will decide who gets their vote in the Federal Election 2016.

The pre-election survey, undertaken by the Council on the Ageing (COTA) found that for voters aged over 50, health is one of the top three issues that matters most for 52 per cent, compared with the economy which, for 30 per cent, only rated in the top three. This is a turnaround from the 2013 election when the economy, at 46 per cent just pipped health care at 45 per cent.

The survey asked the questions of 1145 COTA members and included those who completed the survey prior to the 2013 election. And perhaps the older people get, the more health care matters, with over half of those surveyed over 70 years of age.

And it seems that Labor is striking a chord with older voters. When asked which party was best to manage health care, Labor was the top choice, as was the case when asked about managing aged care, superannuation, pensions, older workers and affordable housing.

But in what could be seen as good or bad news for both parties, 25 per cent of those surveyed said that they would switch their vote between now and the Federal Election on 2 July – a 10 per cent increase from those that gave the same response in 2013.

COTA Chief Executive Ian Yates said this should be a warning for both parties, “Older voters are becoming more volatile, they are not as rusted on as they used to be, and they are more sceptical about the mainstream parties. They are more prepared to look out for their own interests and, unlike younger voters, they are all registered.”

Read more at TheAge.com.au

Read more at COTA.org.au 

Opinion: Will your voice be heard?

As YourLifeChocies reported last week, older voters will hold more power in the upcoming Federal Election 2016 than younger voters and the sooner the major parties realise this, the better.

With over 65-year-olds representing 22 per cent of the electorate, policies on issues such as health, pensions, aged care and superannuation will matter come 2 July. And this is borne out in the results from the YourLifeChoices pre-Budget 2016 survey, that clearly defined what older Australians wanted to see in the Budget and the policies that will determine how they vote.

Indeed, when we asked you, our members, which issues you would like to see determine the outcome of the federal Election 2016, health and an increase in Age Pension topped the list, with an end to over generous superannuation concessions for the wealthy, climate change and education all featuring highly.

But with all the electioneering that’s going on, it’s difficult to determine which policies each party supports.

With headlines full of support for one policy then backflip on another, keeping track of what you’re actually voting for is nigh on impossible unless you’re glued to the news 24 hours a day. So, we’ve cut to the chase and asked the Liberal, Labor and Greens parties for a brief outline of which policies they will be supporting. With a few details still to be ironed out, we’ll publish these by the end of the week, giving those voters who are undecided a chance to make an informed decision.

We know older voters have a voice and it’s a voice that’s not afraid to speak up. All we need to do is make sure it’s heard.

Do you know how you will vote in the Federal Election 2016? Could a policy change before then sway your vote? When choosing a party to lead the country, do you agree that health care is more important than the economy?

Written by Debbie McTaggart

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