Skip to content
Please donate

Political parties urged to make life better for older people in Wales

Published on 14 June 2024 10:43 AM

From pensioner poverty to digital exclusion, Age Cymru highlights the key challenges facing older people

Age Cymru launches its manifesto ahead of the 2024 General Election

From pensioner poverty to digital exclusion and from keeping homes warm to bank closures, Age Cymru is highlighting some of the key challenges facing older people in Wales in its manifesto ahead of the General Election in July.

The charity is urging the next UK Government to help tackle pensioner poverty by making sure older people get what they are entitled to.  Each year more than £200m of Pension Credit goes unclaimed in Wales as many people are either unaware of the benefit or find the application process too complicated.  The new government must promote the various benefits available to older people more widely and simplify the application processes.

Since 2015 an astonishing 374 banks have closed in Wales. This has left many older people struggling to access cash and become more vulnerable to fraud as they either try to navigate online banking or rely on others to carry out their transactions.  Age Cymru is therefore calling on the next UK Government to work with the banking industry to ensure that some form of community banking facilities remain on our high streets.

Digital Exclusion in both the private and public sectors is becoming increasingly problematic for older people who do not use the internet.  The latest figures suggest that more than a third of the over 75s in Wales do not access the internet.  This means that many of our most vulnerable people are unable to access information on key services such as help with council tax or applying for a Blue Badge parking permit.  

And if they can access services offline, they often must pay an added cost for the ‘privilege’.  The charity is therefore calling on the next government to ensure that all public services and key private sector services offer their clients a choice in the way they communicate and to not penalise those who choose offline options.

The past few winters have seen many older people struggling to keep their homes warm as fuel costs have increased significantly. This led to many people turning down their heating which can have devastating effects on their health, especially those with heart and chest problems.  Age Cymru is calling on the UK Government to reform the energy pricing mechanisms for those on modest or low incomes and for those who are facing unavoidably high energy bills, because of a disability or illness.  It is also calling for more ambitious and effective home insulation programmes.

Age Cymru’s chief executive Victoria Lloyd says “Older people in Wales are facing some tough challenges right now from uncertainty as to how they’ll meet their winter fuel bills to not having access to crucial services such as banking and benefits because they’re not online. 

“These challenges are in addition to those that are the responsibility of the Welsh Government such as problems in accessing health and social care. 

“These cumulative challenges can be overwhelming for some and lead people to feel they have lost their autonomy.

“But the next UK Government must not give up on older people and instead start implementing the necessary changes to make life better for older people on day one. 

“A life where older people can be confident of meeting their bills and have a little left over to socialise with family and friends. And a life where they can access all the advice and services they need, without feeling like a burden”.

Our blueprint for Wales is available on our website:  For a paper version call Rhian Morgan on 07944 996943.



Last updated: Jun 14 2024

Become part of our story

Sign up today

Back to top