We are asking everyone who cares about what happens to Britain’s pensioners to sign it.
When the petition gets 10,000 signatures, the Government has to send an official response. And if 100,000 Express readers and their families sign it, the demand for a Minister for Older People will be debated in Parliament.
Former pensions minister and campaigner for the elderly Baroness Altmann, a Tory peer, was the first to put her signature to the request.
She said: “I wholeheartedly support the Daily Express campaign for a Minister for Older People.
SIGN OUR PETITION TO CREATE A MINISTER FOR THE ELDERLY HERE
“Many parts of our modern society and economy are increasingly run by and for younger generations and senior citizens need a minister to protect their interests and make sure they are not excluded.”
Support crosses political boundaries as Barbara Keeley, Labour’s shadow minister for social care, said: “I support this call for a dedicated Minister for Older People. “Labour in Opposition proudly created a shadow minister for older people attending shadow cabinet.
“We recognise the importance of older people in society – it’s time the Government did too.”
Britain’s ageing population is growing rapidly as more people live longer. On average, people aged 55 today will live to their mid-to-late 80s.
Around 1 in 10 men and 1 in 5 women this age will live to 100. More than one in 12 people in the UK will be aged over 80 by 2039, according to the Office for National Statistics.
But campaigners have often warned that governments of any political colour have no strategy to cope with the changing demographics of the UK.
Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said: “This petition is really welcome, a member of the Government with this role could help ensure their interests are factored in when decisions are made and could also hold every department to account for what they do – and don’t do – to help older people.
“There is a real need for a strong voice for older people in Government, but there just isn’t one at the moment. Our ageing population is both a challenge and an opportunity for policymakers and what we badly need is someone who will spearhead efforts to make later life better for all.”
The UK’s crisishit social care system has been under the political spotlight for years but we are no closer to a wellfunded system. Malcolm McLean, senior consultant at pension specialists Barnett Waddingham, highlighted the social care crisis as he backed the petition.
“I believe the time has come where we need a Minister for Older People,” he said. “The appointment would help to bridge the gaps, be a spokesperson for this sometimes abandoned generation.”
Steve Wilkie, managing director of retirement specialist Responsible Life, added: “We have an ageing population, but no dedicated voice within government representing older people.
“That has to change, which is why we should all be backing the Daily Express campaign.
“We shouldn’t underestimate the invaluable contribution the older generation provide to the social fabric of this country.”
To sign up, go to: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/220923
Eight reasons why we need a Minister for Older People
1 To cut the number in hospital because they cannot go home or into residential care
2 To toughen sentencing powers to deter those who abuse the elderly as they’re easy targets
3 To fight the cost of care, which means many have to sell their family homes
4 To stop the elderly being excluded from benefits because they
5 To combat loneliness inflicted because social clubs are being shut in council cuts
6 To warn the elderly of potential health problems, such as the signs of dementia
7 To highlight problems with buses and trains, which many elderly folk have to rely on
8 To raise awareness that we’re living longer – with consequent effects on finances