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General Election 2024

Ahead of the General Election on 4 July 2024, we’re calling on the next UK Government to bring forward practical policies to ensure older people in Wales have the best experience of later life.

Approximately 1,300,100 people who live in Wales are aged 50 or over. The number of people aged 65 years and over is approximately 662,000. The number of people aged 65 and over is expected to increase by almost 18% mid - 2021 and 2031 and the number of people aged 75 and over is expected to increase by 24% during the same time frame.

We need the UK Government to take account of this demographic change and ensure that policies are tailored accordingly.

Blueprint for older people in Wales

Improving older people’s rights and tackling ageism 


Ageism is endemic in our society. One of the consequences is that older people’s views are often not sought or heard by decision-makers, or their needs properly understood. The experience of the pandemic showed that when there's insufficient knowledge or understanding about older people in Government, decisions can be made that are damaging to them.  

In our national survey of older people in Wales in 2023, 70% of respondents felt that older people were not well represented in society.  

The next UK Government must

  1. Enforce existing age discrimination law and provide guidance to ensure employers treat older workers fairly

  2. Take steps to tackle ageism in the labour market
  3. Improve the Windrush Compensation Scheme and transfer its administration to an independent body
  4. Implement Section 14 of the Equality Act which would address the dual discrimination many older people face as a result of other protected characteristics
  5. Take steps for unpaid carers to have greater protection and flexibility in the workplace
  6. Ensure that businesses, the media, third sector organisations and community groups have a support system and policies in place to ensure that older people feel included and represented in society
  7. Support the creation of a UN Human Rights Convention for Older Persons that would help ensure all older people globally are treated equally in society.

Tackling pensioner poverty

A decent income provides dignity and security, and helps people remain independent and active. A warm home, nutritious food, occasional treats and being able to get out and about are all good for health and wellbeing, helping older people to make the most of later life. This should not just be an aspiration but the experience of all older people across Wales.

The complexities of the benefits system results in many older people not claiming their full entitlements. Age Cymru provides information and advice services to help older people access their entitlements, but it shouldn't be so hard that professional assistance is needed. The process must be simplified. 

The next UK Government must

  1. Commit to the Triple Lock for the duration of the next Parliament
  2. Increase benefit take up, including Pension Credit, through publicity and more fundamental changes so there is less reliance on older people having to fill in long forms and navigate complicated systems for their entitlements
  3. Ensure benefits are sufficient to cover essential costs for all groups and are increased annually at least in line with rising prices
  4. Make no further rises in State Pension Age unless life expectancy is increasing, inequalities are reducing, and a system of financial support is in place for those who find it difficult or impossible to work up until their State Pension Age, for reasons such as ill health and caring responsibilities
  5. Improve back-to-work support for older jobseekers
  6. Change the rules so the UK State Pension is increased annually in all countries – currently around twofifths of the 1.1 million pensioners living abroad receive a ‘frozen’ pension, meaning its level never increases.

Managing money

If older people are to live confidently, they must be able to manage their finances easily, whether they are online or not. They should be able to stay safe from scams and be empowered and enabled to make the most of their private pension or other savings.

The next UK Government must

  1. Amend the Financial Services and Markets Act 2023 to protect physical banking services as well as access to cash
  2. Work with the banking industry on the continued rollout of Banking Hubs and protect local banking services until a replacement service is operational
  3. Protect access to essential goods and services for consumers who rely on cash by ensuring retailers continue to accept physical cash
  4. Require tech firms and telecom service providers to act on their commitments under their respective charters and the Online Safety Act by ensuring they compensate scam victims if the fraud originated on their platforms
  5. Bring forward fraud reforms that focus on prevention and on supporting victims, funded by unlocking the suspected proceeds of crime
  6. Conduct a 10th anniversary review of the ‘freedom of choice’ reforms and if necessary, take action so people get the most from their retirement savings
  7. Reform auto-enrolment to help everyone save enough for their retirement.

Consumer protection


In 2023, it was reported that 40% of all crime reported in England and Wales is fraud, with an estimated 3.2 million incidents taking place annually. Fewer than one in seven cases of fraud are reported to the police or Action Fraud.

Age Cymru’s annual survey shows that consumer protection is a growing concern among older people.

The next UK Government must

  1. Develop more widespread and targeted engagement with older people on how to spot and report fraud
  2. Take steps to improve financial inclusion of older people, including via access to in-person banking services and digital education
  3. Forge stronger links between health and social care services, regulatory bodies, charities and the police to combat fraud and ensure the successful identification, protection and support for older victims
  4. Compel tech companies and telecommunications service providers to implement more preventative measures to intercept and stop fraud
  5. Address the growing crisis of loneliness and isolation among older people.

Older people offline must not be overlooked 

In Wales, 31% of over 75s don't have access to the internet at home, and 33% of over 75s don't use the internet.

The shift to ‘digital first’ is hugely problematic for older people who are offline, undermining their ability to live independently and confidently at home. It's difficult for them to access public services and private services like banking. They also face higher costs, find it hard to get information, and near impossible to contact companies or public bodies. 

The next UK Government must

  1. Require all public services and public utilities to make available affordable, easy to access, offline way of reaching and using them
  2. Require telecom companies to ensure no one is left without a working telephone or ability to access IT services.

Keeping warm at home

Fuel poverty estimates in Wales report that households in fuel poverty are generally those which include older people. Keeping warm is vital for a comfortable, safe, happy and healthy later life, but many older people in Wales live in homes that are unbearably cold in winter and expensive to heat.

The next UK Government must

  1. Directly fund a targeted energy deal, or ‘social tariff’, which markedly discounts energy costs for people of all ages on low and modest incomes 

  2. Expand and improve UK-wide insulation and heating system improvement schemes, with priority for those on low incomes with higher heating needs
  3. Extend the ban on forced pre-payment meter installations from those aged over 75 to everyone above State Pension age
  4. Create one Priority Services Register across all utilities.


Welsh language

Welsh language.png

Data from the 2021 Census shows that 116,788 people aged 60 and over can speak Welsh and an estimated 21,000 older people feel more confident in speaking Welsh than English. It's imperative that businesses both in the public and private sector to ensure that residents in Wales have the option of conducting their business through the medium of Welsh.

The next UK Government must

  1. Work alongside the Welsh Government to ensure that organisations are adhering to the Welsh Language Act

  2. For banks and financial organisations to ensure that customers are able to use cash machines in both languages and that telephone services are available in both languages.


Last updated: Jun 14 2024

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