Lord Foulkes to ask government at Parliamentary Questions about a Commissioner for Older People in England
NPC Annual Convention: (l.to.r) NPC President Rosie MacGregor; Heléna
Herklots, Older People’s Commissioner for Wales; & Rt Hon Lord George Foulkes.
The NPC campaign for a Commissioner for Older People in England has taken a significant leap forward thanks to Lord George Foulkes.
The Joint Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Ageing & Older People has tabled a Parliamentary Question (PQ) about the appointment of a new Commissioner, to be heard in the House of Lords next month (19th October).
Lord Foulkes made a powerful case for Commissioners to fight for older people’s rights in all four UK nations at last week’s NPC Annual Convention.
Now he hopes the government will give serious consideration to an idea which the National Pensioners’ Convention has long championed.
Lord Foulkes said: ““This is the first part of our campaign to get Commissioners in England and Scotland, as they have in Wales and Northern Ireland.
“Charities and politicians will be working together on this important issue over the coming months.
“We need four Commissioners in the four nations of the UK working together to identify and root out ageism and protect the interests of older people.”
NPC General Secretary Jan Shortt said: “The NPC is proud to support Lord George Foulkes success at having a question included in parliament in October on the issue of a Commissioner for Older People in England.
“At the NPC Annual Convention in Birmingham last week (21st September) it was agreed that we should push forward with our campaign for a new Commissioner. We have already spoken with Ageing Better and Independent Age on the matter of their support. Helena Herklots, the Welsh Commissioner, Eddie Lynch, the Northern Ireland Commissioner, along with Lord Foulkes have all expressed a desire to work on a strategy for the creation of an Independent Commissioner role, with the legislation to ensure that older people in England are heard, protected and valued.”
Lord Foulkes, who has described the growth of pensioner poverty as an ‘immense scandal’ is also raising the idea of appointing a Commissioner in Scotland with the Scottish Government.
NPC, the UK’s largest campaign group run for and by older people, held their 2022 Annual Convention in Birmingham Council House to discuss growing Pensioner Poverty and Older People’s Rights. More than 150 delegates heard experts from Age UK, Cash Action Group, Healthwatch England, the Centre for Ageing Better, Better Transport, Homes for All, National Federation for the Blind UK and the Institute for Development Studies.
Topics included the rocketing cost of food and fuel, inadequate state pensions, and poor housing. They also spoke about disappearing services that older people rely upon, such as the cutting of bus routes and ticket offices, the difficulty in getting social care and GP appointments, the push to end cash transactions, and the isolation caused by digital poverty among older people who do not or cannot use the internet.
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