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Older people are having their say

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A national charity supporting older people, their families and carers, is preparing a manifesto to influence political parties ahead of the General Election.

Counsel and Care, launched a poster and pamphlet campaign at this week’s Liberal Democrat conference in Bournemouth and is planning to lobby the Labour and Conservative gatherings as well.

It follows VotingAge, a campaign run by and for older people, which sought the views of older people across the country on issues that affect their lives.

Older people who attended the events and who responded to the VotingAge consultation ‘Green Paper’ expressed their concerns around key issues such as poverty, age discrimination, a breakdown between the generations, and the lack of involvement and inclusion of older people.

Solutions were identified by participants as actions to improve their lives included improving pensions by ring-fencing tax monies; allowing those receiving the State Pension to also receive Carer’s Allowance; and a minister or commissioner for older people.

Stephen Burke, Chief Executive of Counsel and Care, said: "While older people’s care and support is rising to the top of the political agenda in 2008, it is less certain whether the wider concerns that affect the whole lives of older people will be addressed in the lead up to the next General Election.

"These initial exciting findings from our VotingAge campaign come from the hearts and minds of older people themselves.

"The full VotingAge manifesto which will be published next year will aim to influence the parties as they develop their own policies in the lead up to the general election."

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