4 - End Age Discrimination

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High 5 Priority 4 End Age Discrimination

Questions we asked election candidates:

How will you ensure that legislation is introduced to outlaw age discrimination in the provision of goods, facilities and services such as car or travel insurance and healthcare?

Why is this a priority issue?

Equal treatment for us all is important in all aspects of life, from community life, to public life, to employment, health care and education.  But older people still face unfair age discrimination. Age discrimination occurs when that prejudice is allowed to influence what goods, facilities and services we can access and the price we pay for them.

Older people are treated unfairly in a number of areas, including insurance, health services and financial services. Evidence shows that 8 out of 10 older people with clinical depression never get treatment.  Many psychological therapy services for depression exclude people aged 65 and older‚ despite the risk of depression increasing with age in later life.  Difficulty in getting car insurance means that older people may pay higher premiums or may not be able to access cover at all. Age barriers in volunteering opportunities and public life, for example, juries, limit the full participation of older people in community life.  This type of discrimination is outlawed in England, the Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Wales, but is still legal in Northern Ireland.

Age-related discrimination is an area which needs to be redressed as soon as possible.  The UK Government has acknowledged there is a “significant amount of evidence that older people are being treated in a discriminatory way by those providing goods and services”. The Institute for Public Policy Research, in its report Older People and Wellbeing, found that older people are most likely to suffer from inequality and discrimination.

We are calling on Government to put forward legislation to ban age discrimination in Northern Ireland at the first opportunity.


opens link in new window High 5 factsheet - End Age Discrimination (PDF 180KB)

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