Dallat endorses strategic framework for the wellbeing of older people
The East Derry MLA who is a regular attender at the NI Pensioners Parliament hearings said:
"In the absence of an Assembly it is vulnerable people who suffer most and that includes our older people who deserve support for the six basic demands put forward by the Age Sector Platform.
"Critical among these are the maintenance of the ‘Triple Lock’ to protect the value of the Basic State Pension taking into account the rate of inflation, average earnings and growth in the economy.
"High on the list is the transformation in health and social care as outlined in the Department of Health’s policy document ‘Health and Wellbeing 2016 – Delivering Together’.
"Regrettably in the absence of a minister and no legislation being passed at Stormont the practice of discrimination in accessing Goods, Facilities and Services cannot be made illegal in Northern Ireland and that is unfortunate.
"Recent attempts to undermine free TV licences for over 75s is a clear indication of the disregard this government has for older people. We need to protect key pensioner concessions including the Smartpass and access to community transport as well as protecting the Winter Fuel Allowance.
"Had this Assembly being doing its job we could be taking a lead from the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly. Among the issues being tackled is the increasing incidence of loneliness and isolation among older people which is a major issue.
"With the deployment of digital inclusion programmes and better support for the various voluntary organisations, including the Age Sector Platform, differences are being made to the lives of people who worked all their lives and deserve to be better treated than being neglected by a bad government in London and no government in Belfast."