Age Scotland has published its priorities for the 2017 UK General Election.
Dignity and rights in later life sets out specific asks of the UK Government and MPs for the new parliamentary term until 2022.
Download 'Rights and dignity in later life'
The general election might have been unexpected, but it is important and comes at a critical time for older people. As the leading charity representing older people and their rights and interests in Scotland, Age Scotland is calling on all candidates to use this opportunity to recognise and highlight the resources, inclusion and rights of older citizens in their constituencies.
In five years’ time, there will be 10% more people aged 60 and over than now. They’re not only full members of their communities, they also help to sustain them – by working, earning and paying taxes; by taking care of others; and by volunteering. Comparatively few will require formal care and those drawing pensions have done so after decades of contributions. But they use and depend on public services, they care about the world that will be left for future generations, and they vote in greater numbers than other demographic groups. Their needs and interests would be ignored by politicians at their peril.
Among their concerns are the abilities to:
- have and enjoy a decent income and standard of living. With fixed and typically lower incomes, older people often feel less able to withstand major changes in our economy and prosperity, such as austerity and Brexit. Changes to the State Pension age are happening more quickly than they anticipated and often without adequate warning to plan around them.
- be included in their communities. To be accessible, services must be age-friendly or they will do little to diminish, and may exacerbate, isolation and exclusion.
- have their rights recognised and respected. Older people face greater risk of discrimination and exploitation.
Rights and dignity in later life maps out the actions which Government and parliamentarians can and should take to address these challenges. In a UK election, we work closely with our sister charities – Age UK, Age Cymru and Age NI – to pursue similar aims around the UK. But although many policy issues are now devolved to the Scottish Parliament, the UK Parliament still exercises great influence over people’s lives, and this document highlights priorities appropriate for the particular Scottish context.
To make sure you are registered to vote, and to find links to where you can see lists of parliamentary candidates in your area, visit the Your Vote Matters website.
Help promote 'Rights and dignity in later life'
You can help to make sure your parliamentary candidates commit to making Scotland, the UK and your community better for older people, particularly those who find life a struggle. Just follow the steps below.
- Read the 'Rights and dignity in later life' manifesto
- Tweet your support using this link or share on your Facebook page.
- Contact your parliamentary candidates to encourage them to show their support for the manifesto and sign up as an Age Champion.
Parliamentary candidates - Become an Age Champion!
If you’re a parliamentary candidate, you can become an Age Champion by committing to making Scotland, the UK and your community better for older people, particularly those who find life a struggle. Whatever party you represent, if any, we would welcome your support and look forward to working with you after the election if you’re successful. Simply email AgeChampions@agescotland.org.uk for more details.