Welsh Office Minister David Jones today [Friday 1 October] marked International Older Persons Day by launching a new initiative to give older people a stronger voice across Wales.
The Welsh Senate of Older People brings together four national organisations to champion older people’s rights and provide them with one unified voice.
Speaking at the launch in Cardiff Bay, Mr Jones said: “Government, both in London and Cardiff, needs to hear about the concerns of older people. By 2020, half the population of the UK will be aged 50 and over. That is why we genuinely want to hear about the issues facing older people today, so that Government action meets their needs.
“I am confident that the Welsh Senate of Older People will be a strong voice and ask questions of Government on important issues such as income, age discrimination and the health-care system. I very much hope that this launch is merely the first step in what will become an on-going discussion.”
Mr Jones also highlighted how the coalition Government’s principles of Freedom, Fairness and Responsibility are ensuring that the needs of older people are being taken into account.
Mr Jones added: “Our Government is already providing guarantees on the state pension; protecting key benefits that we know are so important to older people, such as the winter fuel allowance and free TV licences; and re-establishing the link between pensions and earnings. It also contains commitments to protect things that are of particular concern to older people, such as protecting the health budget and freeing up the police so that they can spend more time fighting crime and making communities feel safer.
“We will look to organisations like the Senate to tell us what policies are working and what we can do to improve things. By working together, we can and will champion older people’s needs in Wales.”
NotesThe four organisations involved in creating the Welsh Senate of Older People are the National Old Age Pensioners Association of Wales, the National Pensioners Convention Wales, Older People’s Advisory Group Cymru and Pensioners Forum Wales.