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Author: Age NI
Published on 22 April 2011 03:00 PM

 Comment from First Minister Peter Robinson:
“The DUP is delighted to support the High Five Campaign. We have always sought to use our positions in Government to assist the province’s older people.  Again our commitments to addressing the needs of our older people are a prominent feature of our party manifesto available at as we continue trying to keep Northern Ireland moving forward".

1 Tackle Fuel Poverty

What steps will the DUP take to ensure that the collective effort of all Ministers and Departments in the NI Executive is focused on tackling fuel poverty?

  • More collaborative and cohesive Executive functioning
    Seek as first step to match levels in rest of UK
    Focus action on those in most severe need
    Promote energy efficiency measures
    Establish a single telephone point of contact for all energy efficiency and fuel poverty advice
    Adopt and develop an Energy Assistance Package approach to maximise the number of people who would receive good advice and assistance

How will the DUP support plans to introduce social tariffs to help protect vulnerable older people from soaring energy bills? 

  • Not convinced that social tariffs would be the most effective answer for Northern Ireland
    Promote energy brokering
    Increase flexibility in the Warm Homes Scheme to allow for repairs and upgrades of existing broken or inefficient oil and gas systems
    Fully implement a boiler scrappage scheme   

2 Maximise Pensioner Income

What will the DUP do to make sure that the next Executive ensures that Pension Credit is paid automatically to those people who are entitled to it?

  • Manifesto commits to pilot automatic payment- this could address the barriers associated with low uptake and in the case of Pension Credit would have the potential to add in excess of £1 million per week into the Northern Ireland economy

Will the DUP campaign to ensure that the NI Assembly commits to eliminating pensioner poverty by an agreed date?

  • Not sure that credible to claim we can eliminate pensioner poverty over the next four years, but will do all we can to reduce levels
    Continue to make the case at Westminster for a fairer state pension linked to earnings

What will the DUP do to support programmes that increase older people’s employment options in later life?

  • Recognise older people’s knowledge, experience and skills by supporting schemes such as the Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise
    Allow older people performing well to continue working
    Provide the opportunity for older people to play a full and active role in the community  

3 Fundamentally Review Social Care

How will the DUP bring us closer to a fundamental review of social care provision?

  • Manifesto commits to review of care of older people in NI

What steps will the DUP take to ensure that dignity, independence and choice will be at the heart of a new approach to social care?

  • Propose Dignity Charter for older people in hospitals and other care settings to guarantee quality care, good hygiene and a nutritious meal

 Are the DUP committed to preventing poor health of older people as well as treating it?

  • Increase spending on preventative and early intervention measures
    Replicate elements of the Partnership for Older People Projects in Scotland which have promoted health, delayed any need for higher intensity care and reduced overnight hospital stays, use of Accident and Emergency Departments, therapist appointments, GP phone calls and appointments and visits to practice nurses- Laing and Buisson found in 2008 that postponing entry into residential care by adapting people’s homes saves over £28,000

4 End Age Discrimination

How will the DUP 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?

  • Enact legislation to prevention discrimination against older people
    Commitment to produce a Positive Ageing strategy
    Focus on the positive contribution and potential of older people
    Ensure the effectiveness of the Older Person’s Commissioner role, making Northern Ireland an example of best practice internationally in dealing with the rights and interests of older people  

5 Tackle Fear of Crime

How does the DUP plan to support people to live free from fear of crime within their home and community?

  • legislate to increase sentences for attacks on older people
    Consider the case for legislation to protect vulnerable older people from abuse

What steps will the DUP take to make sure that older people are a high priority group within the new Community Safety Strategy?

  • Engage with older people to ensure their views are reflected in policies and plans


For more information: Call Age NI Advice: 0808 808 7575