Older people's lives at risk by budget cuts
Published on 22 June 2010 04:30 PM
Older people's lives will be put at risk by budget cuts to social care, warns Age UK
In response to the Emergency Budget today, Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director at Age UK, said:
"If the Chancellor's projection of a one quarter cut to public service budgets is applied to older people's care thousands of lives will be lost.
"Our research shows that cuts of this scale will be disastrous for older people who rely on state supported care services. There would be almost no money to support people in their own homes, as councils will have no option but to support the most disabled living in care homes. As the number of people over 80 needing support grows, the current crisis will only escalate over the next four years.
"Unless the Chancellor safeguards social care spending in the Autumn spending review, he will fail in his quest to protect the most vulnerable from budget cuts.
In addition, Michelle Mitchell said: "We are delighted the Government is introducing a ‘triple guarantee' to raise the basic state pension from April, and also a matching increase for Pension Credit which will help the poorest in later life. But this is offset by the rise in VAT which will hit poorer households hardest, including low income pensioners.
"The consultation on phasing out the Default Retirement Age is another welcome shuffle forward towards ending this unfair and unsustainable law. But to give tens of thousands of older workers the job security they deserve, we need a definitive commitment and timetable."
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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.
Media contact: Vicky Smith
Tel: 020 8765 7515 (Out of hours: 07071 243 243)