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NPC calls for a national strategy to avoid disaster for our growing older population

The National Pensioners’ Convention has launched its 2024 General Election Manifesto* with an urgent plea to the next government to devise a 360-degree strategy for our rapidly ageing population.


The UK’s largest campaigning organisation run for and by older people is calling on all political parties to plan for the 1 in 4** of us who will be over 65 within the next 20 years.


And the NPC believes they must start by appointing independent Commissioners for Older People in England and Scotland, as they have in Wales and Northern Ireland, to lead the way.


NPC General Secretary Jan Shortt said: “While it is very important to have political parties promising to maintain the Triple Lock on state pension increases - particularly during the ongoing cost of living crisis - that simply isn’t going to be enough. Although the workers of today will be living longer, they won’t be financially better off or healthier to deal with the multiple challenges facing the over 65s now, or in the future.


“We already have 2.1million older people living in poverty, millions in fuel poverty, and millions more waiting for under resourced health care and NHS treatment. To ignore the desperate need for a 360-degree strategy for our ageing population is a recipe for disaster and will leave today’s workers – tomorrow’s older people – with massive issues to solve.”


Jan urges all political parties to read the NPC Manifesto and prioritise policies that will provide dignity and security for everybody, particularly those in later life.


She commented: “A decent pension is key – ideally 70% of the Living Wage – but we also need a fairer tax system, ensuring the tax threshold doesn’t penalise pensioners if their income increases.


“A fully funded and free at the point of delivery National Care Service, alongside a properly funded and fully public NHS, are also absolutely key to enabling older people to live well for longer.


“Safe, dependable and affordable public transport, more purpose-built housing for older people; and an end to digital exclusion in our increasingly online, cash-free world are also on our list for a decent future for later life.


“But to bring all this together into an holistic, UK-wide strategy for ageing, we need independent Commissioners in all four nations to champion policy and practice across the government, for today’s and tomorrow’s retirees.”


Jan added that it simply isn’t enough to keep increasing the retirement age to cope with the problems of providing for our growing older population.


She said: “The UK faces significant challenges – an ageing population, inadequate pensions, health and social care in crisis and rising poverty forcing many older people in particular to choose between heating and eating.


“Yet too many have got into the habit of blaming older people for such complex societal issues, which only perpetuates ageism and division. Everyone is affected, and the NPC strongly supports intergenerational fairness. But simply allowing these problems to worsen for older people today, won’t solve the problems of tomorrow.


“The NPC urges all political parties to prioritise policies that will provide dignity and security for everybody, and particularly those in later life.”



ENDS


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NEWS - NPC 2024 Election Manifesto launch
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NPC OP Manifesto
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