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Author: Age NI
Published on 28 March 2011 12:00 AM

Age NI and Age Sector Platform join forces to empower older people in the run up to the election on 5 May 2010.

Older People will send a very clear message to all Assembly Candidates over the next 6 weeks saying listen up or pack up your election kit bags.  With 1 in 5 eligible voters in Northern Ireland over the age of 65 (1), election candidates are being advised to support 5 high-priority issues for older people in Northern Ireland in order to win over the crucial older vote.  The High 5 election campaign outlines the key issues that older people want to see addressed by the next Assembly and Executive:

1. Tackle fuel poverty
2. Maximise pensioner income
3. Fundamentally review social care
4. End age discrimination
5. Tackle fear of crime

Bill Carson, Chair of Age Sector Platform said, ‘We have been speaking to older people across Northern Ireland over the last few weeks and it is clear that they have much to say on the issues that need to be addressed by incoming MLAs. Our High 5 campaign is based on the key issues that older people have identified and should be seen as essential reading by all Political Parties and candidates.  We have outlined 5 actions older people can take to ensure that these issues are heard by politicians across Northern Ireland.  We hope to see the power of the grey vote put into action in the next few weeks.’ 

Anne O’Reilly, Age NI Chief Executive commented, ‘Older people are motivated about the upcoming election. Poverty and fuel poverty are on the increase; older people in Northern Ireland still face forms of discrimination that have been outlawed in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland, and with a growing concern about what social care services they’ll be able to access next year, older people are telling us they’re planning to exercise their collective muscle through the ballot box so that things are improved, not only for themselves, but for future generations of older people. 21% of eligible voters here are over 65 – that’s 252,462 (2) older people who could make or break a candidate’s election campaign.  We want the High 5 campaign to empower those in later life to really question and debate with their local politicians about the big issues. Things need to change - older people intend to make that change happen on 5 May 11 by making their vote count.’

To request a copy of the High 5 campaign leaflet phone 028 9024 5729 or 028 9031 2089 or visit for more information.

(1) CARDI Focus on Older Voters, February 2011
(2) 2011 Electoral Office, NI

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