Age UK responds to Labour's manifesto
Published on 12 April 2010 09:00 AM
In response to Labour's manifesto published today‚ Michelle Mitchell‚ Charity Director for Age UK said:
"Four new announcements on employment‚ state pensions and healthcare‚ in addition to the recent commitment to a national care service will bring considerable benefits for older people. Yet despite warm words about helping society adapt to the demographic shift‚ Labour still needs to do a lot more to turn the rhetoric into practical policies to improve later life.
"The party has missed a crucial opportunity to tell older voters how it will make progress on areas such as health‚ housing and age-friendly communities to enable older people to continue to play an active role in society. Alongside tackling social care‚ any future Government must also grasp the nettle on warm homes and pensioner poverty if they are serious about winning the grey vote.
"Labour today scored 8 out of 18 for progress against the key priorities outlined in Age UK's election manifesto."
What are the key commitments to older people Labour has made in their manifesto?
In response to the following commitments‚ Michelle Mitchell said:
Re-linking state pension with earnings
"With one of the lowest state pensions in Europe‚ the commitment to re-linking pensions with earnings by 2012 will help combat pensioner poverty and the disparity in income between working and retired people." 1
Default Retirement Age and flexible working
"The Government has strengthened its stance on ending the unfairness of the Default Retirement Age today‚ by committing to end compulsory retirement at 65. But older workers will still have to wait until the long awaited review of the legislation before they are judged on their ability to do the job‚ rather than their age." 2
"As people are living longer and healthier lives‚ the retirement cliff edge which people used to face has no place in today's society. The right to flexible working will be welcomed by many older people who want to retire gradually‚ as well as helping the 2.8 million with caring responsibilities." 3
Reform of the GP contract to help ensure depression and anxiety in later life is diagnosed and supported
"With one in four older people - two million over the age of 65 - living with depression‚ the charity has campaigned to improve diagnosis of depression among GPs. This commitment should reduce the incidence of depression and help older people lead more fulfilling‚ happier lives." 4