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Warning that ‘politicians ignore pensioners at their peril’

Later Life Ambitions to launch manifesto setting out key policy demands to ensure positive future for those in later life.

Pensions triple lock is ‘key to victory’ at the next election

A campaign group representing over 250,000 pensioners has set out the policies that politicians must focus on ahead of an election year in 2024.

Protecting the state pension triple lock and the formation of a national care service are among its chief focuses.

The manifesto, called Standing by Pensioners; a manifesto for later life, will be launched in parliament on Tuesday November 21 by the campaign group Later Life Ambitions.

Its main asks are:

  • Protecting the state pension triple lock.

  • Creating a national care service integrated with the NHS.

  • More adaptable, accessible homes.

  • Steps to combat digital exclusion.

  • The creation of the post of a commissioner for older people and ageing in England and Scotland to mirror those already set up in Wales and Northern Ireland.

  • Investment in local bus and rail services and improved accessibility.

Later Life Ambitions brings together the collective voices of over a quarter of a million pensioners through the National Federation of Occupational Pensioners, the Civil Service Pensioners’ Alliance, and the National Association of Retired Police Officers.

The organisation is focused on giving voice to the concerns and ambitions of older people to live full and fulfilling lives.

The launched event in Parliament will feature spokespeople from political parties across all four nations of the UK. Also in attendance will be singer and former Eurovision winner Sandie Shaw MBE, who has endorsed the manifesto and calls for everyone to get behind the Later Life Ambitions campaign.

Eamonn Donaghy, Chief Executive of the National Federation of Occupational Pensioners said:

“Protecting the State Pension triple lock is vital for the UKs pensioners. We are calling on all political parties to commit to an unequivocal pledge to keep the triple lock in their election manifestos.

“Later Life Ambitions represent over quarter of a million pensioners across the country. Let us be absolutely clear, keeping the triple lock is the key to victory at the next election and we expect to see this basic fairness for people in later life to continue in the next Parliament and beyond”.

Alan Lees, Chief Executive of the National Association of Retired Police Officers said:

"Our aims are simple. We are collectively asking today’s decision makers to confront the challenges of tomorrow. These policies must become an urgent national priority and we believe this manifesto can provide a cross-party consensus and build for a better future for those in later life now and for all of us as we age.

“By 2030, there will be almost 13 million people in later life aged 65 or over. So our manifesto is a vision for a better future. This is our call to action.”

Sally Tskouris, General Secretary of the Civil Service Pensioners Alliance said:

“Alongside the other priorities we are highlighting in this join campaign, we are sad to see older people’s housing needs being all too often overlooked when we talk about the UK’s housing crisis.

“There is a chronic shortage of available, suitable housing in the UK for those in later life as housebuilding rates continue to fail to meet UK Government targets, with only 216,000 new homes supplied in 2020-21 against targets of 300,000.

“Meanwhile, specialist retirement housing accounts for just 2.6% of the UK’s housing stock, with a shortage of nearly half a million older people’s housing units.

“This means that many older people are in accommodation that is no longer suitable for their needs, which not only impacts their quality of life but also their friends, children and grandchildren, who cannot themselves access the family homes they need due to lack of supply.”

Sandie Shaw MBE said:

“Politicians ignore pensioners at their peril. This manifesto makes clear that older people don’t just have ambitions to live full and fulfilling lives but we stand ready to contribute to society, the economy and the country in general.

“For example, I’m still working and making music and I’m certainly not ready to retire. I’ve had a career that’s covered lots of different areas from music to coaching and campaigning for musicians’ rights. I’ve still got plenty to contribute!

“With a general election due in the next year it’s the right time to remind politicians of all stripes that they must meet the needs of older people and keep us in mind when drawing up their policies.”



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