Our comment on Tory-Lib Dem agreement
Published on 12 May 2010 12:00 AM
Age UK comments on Tory-Lib Dem policy agreement
Commenting on the agreement reached by Conservatives and Liberal Democrats on policy issues affecting older people, Michelle Mitchell, Age UK Charity Director, said:
"This is a good start from the new Government for older people and is a clear signal they are committed to improving later life. Clearly there remain big question marks over how the Government will fund and reform the crumbling social care system. As a key concern of older people, this urgent issue cannot be ducked for long.
"Both parties committed to re-linking the state pension to earnings in their manifestos and we are delighted that they are honouring this and introducing a ‘triple guarantee'. In the meantime the new government must move quickly towards paying benefits automatically so that all older people receive the help they are entitled to.
"Plans to increase the State Pension Age earlier than expected however will hit female and the poorest workers the hardest. Coming at such a short notice, this change could disrupt many people's legitimate expectations of retirement.
"The Default Retirement Age urgently needs to be abolished. After the Conservatives pledged to ‘look at how to abolish the default retirement age' and the Lib Dems promised to ‘scrap compulsory retirement ages' in their manifestos, we hope the new Government will go further than their current commitment to ‘phase out' this senseless and outdated legislation and allow older people to continue working until they want or need to."
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Notes to Editors
Age UK is the new force combining Age Concern and Help the Aged. The Age UK family includes Age Scotland‚ Age Cymru and Age NI.