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ELECTION 2005: 'OLDER PEOPLE TO CAST DECIDING VOTE'

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Age Concern London reminds politicians that they cannot rely on the all important older vote without addressing iss...
Age Concern London reminds politicians that they cannot rely on the all important older vote without addressing issues directly affecting older Londoners.

Age Concern today launched a briefing giving candidates a London perspective on older people's issues in the general election. It highlights issues of specific importance to older Londoners. Amongst other issues the briefing calls for London candidates to consider how they will address:

* Almost a quarter of older Londoners living in poverty

* Higher basic living costs in London compared to other parts of UK pushing pensioners into poverty

* Londoners aged 50+ providing informal care for adults and children with an estimated value of£1,791m a year but not being rewarded through the pension system

* Multiple disadvantage faced by London's growing black and minority ethnic older population

* Cuts to preventative care services in London

The Age Concern national manifesto has called for politicians across the country to commit to: Ensuring an adequate income for all to lead a full and fulfilling life, breaking the age barrier and building effective public services for older people.

Stuart Routledge, chief executive, Age Concern Croydon said:

'The London Borough of Croydon is the largest London borough with an older population of over 50,000. Despite three years of promises the Croydon Primary Care Trust continues to zero-fund Age Concern Croydon's core services. In that time the workload directly from PCT staff has more than tripled - advocacy/befriending/housing/benefits/information and advice outreach projects/ volunteer support are among the services that are suffering acutely.'

Gordon Deuchars, policy and campaigns manager, Age Concern London said:

'Older people will look to vote for a party on their current promises as well as on the past record of which party has most helped older people and which is committed to working towards ending age discrimination in all areas of life. With research indicating that older people are far more likely to vote, addressing the issues outlined in this briefing could win London candidates the deciding vote on May 5th.'

For a copy of 'Isn't it time politicians stopped just kissing babies? click here

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