03 Sep 2012
With the Cabinet reshuffle expected to be announced imminently, Anchor is calling on the government to demonstrate its commitment to addressing the issues faced by older people by introducing a Minister for Older People.
New research commissioned by Anchor among over 65s reinforces the call for a minister to represent 40% of the voting public. Anchor found that many older people feel their needs are not being adequately addressed by government. Three quarters of over 65s (76%) feel that MPs have little understanding of the day-to-day realities of being an older person living in Britain. Of those surveyed, 62 per cent of over 65s feel that older people do not have enough say on issues that affect them.
Jane Ashcroft, Anchor’s Chief Executive, says: “Older people feel their views are often invisible to politicians and are demanding a minister is appointed to co-ordinate policy and ensure their views are heard.
"More than 137,000 people signed the Grey Pride petition - support continues to grow and we have cross-party backing from MPs, a range of organisations working for older people, as well as celebrities of all ages. The need for the voice of older people to be represented in government is clear and the reshuffle is the perfect opportunity for the Prime Minister to listen to the facts and act by appointing a Minister for Older People.”
Penny Mordaunt MP, who handed in the Grey Pride petition calling for a Minister for Older People to 10 Downing Street in November last year, says: “Older people are affected by the decisions of many government departments, often in ways which are not immediately recognised. A senior figure within Government should be appointed who can co-ordinate the crossover between policies and be vigilant for their effect on the elderly.”
As pressure on public services grows, almost half (48%) of those surveyed feel services in their local area have declined. There are concerns that services for older people are poor (34%) and fewer than half (44%) agreed that their local council was interested in the needs of older people.