December 1, 2011

UK: Why we need a minister for older people, explains Esther McVey

WIRRAL, Northwest England / Wirral News / November 30, 2011

Esther McVey: Why we need a minister for older people

TODAY a petition of 137,000 is being handed to the Prime Minister calling for a minister for older people – and I should know because I signed it.

“Grey Pride” is calling for the Government to appoint a dedicated minister for older people so the voices of older people can be heard at the very highest level, prioritising their needs and ensuring their views receive dedicated attention.

I meet residents who believe such a minister is needed on a daily basis. I was delighted, back in the summer, to work with the residents of Hoylebank, Darmonds Green, West Kirby, to start the campaign for our area.

The residents stressed older people are fast becoming one of the largest groups in the UK – 40% of voters – yet there is no Government minister dedicated to their well-being.

Photograph Courtesy:

People deserve to be treated with dignity and respect in old age and I believe it is important to safeguard these principles by providing necessary support to those people in most need of help.

I know the Government shares this view. The minister for care services Paul Burstow and minister for pensions Steve Webb are responsible for a wide range of issues affecting older people, and they jointly chair the UK Advisory Forum on Ageing.

With an ageing population and an array of complex needs I, along with many others, consider now is the time for such a dedicated minister.

Esther McVey is Member of Parliament for Wirral West

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