We have heard a lot lately from various politicians about the need to examine the universal benefits received by older people and in particular the concessionary bus pass. It seems that in the age of austerity, even something that has been so successful and proved so popular, is subject to review.
But it is not just the threat from government to withdraw the bus pass from all but the poorest, there is also the threat to bus funding from the imminent spending review. Cuts to bus services will hit the poorest and most vulnerable the hardest.
Older and disabled people have hugely benefited from free bus travel and often rely on public transport to do their shopping, get to their GP and hospital appointments and visit friends. Continue reading
Posted in Communities and inclusion, Government, Money Matters, Public Policy, Transport
Tagged Age UK, Age UK blog, Ageing, ageing population, ageing society, bus cuts, bus pass, free bus travel, Government, Government & society, isolation, loneliness, Money & benefits, money matters, older people, public transport, rural ageing, rural issues, rural living, the impact on older people of cuts to rural bus services, transport, universal benefits
Welfare reform and the benefits system have been high on the news agenda recently, but an often overlooked issue is the persistent problem of pensioner poverty. With 1.7m pensioners (14%) currently living in poverty, and £5.5bn pounds of benefits left unclaimed by pensioners, Age UK has re-launched its Let’s Talk Money campaign.
A significant amount of research highlights that there are many reasons why older people aren’t claiming the benefits that they are entitled to – from a perception that the application process is too complicated, to the belief that they don’t qualify.
With so many people slipping through the net, Age UK aims to challenge the myths around eligibility, and encourage older people to claim the benefits that they are entitled to so that they can make the most of later life.
The campaign continues to focus on encouraging older people to claim the benefits they are entitled to, such as Pension Credit, Housing Benefit and Attendance Allowance.
People on low incomes can use the extra money that benefits provide to pay for utility bills, broken appliances or some much needed help around the house – removing financial stress that is a burden for so many. Continue reading
Posted in Campaigning, Income, Money Matters
Tagged #letstalkmoney, Age UK, Age UK Advice Line, Age UK blog, Ageing, ageing population, ageing society, Attendance Allowance, benefit calculator, benefit entitlement, benefits, benefits advice, benefitscheck, housing benefit, Income, let's talk money, let's talk money campaign, money, money matters, More Money in Your Pocket, older people, Pension Credit
With an ageing population and increasing numbers of us living in to late old age, attitudes to later life have never been more relevant. At the same time, our straitened economic position and pressures on public services to meet financial challenges whilst providing for these growing numbers of over 6os, means the debate often hinges on economic and political issues.
The ‘burden’ of our ageing population is frequently stressed, accompanied by an emphasis on inequalities between generations that incite division.
Yet, one of the strongest messages to come out of a session I chaired last week at Age UK’s For Later Life conference was that the media furore on the ‘burden of ageing’ is not reflected in public attitudes.
Ben Page of Ipsos Mori revealed polling showing that 68% of people aren’t satisfied with the Government’s treatment of older people and that care for the elderly is consistently amongst the top three scoring issues of concern to people of all ages.
I believe this polling strikes at the heart of the debate about attitudes to later life, illustrating the gap between political and media rhetoric and the views of the individual. But why is there such a gap? How do we form our attitudes to later life? And are they showing signs of changing, heralding strains on intergenerational relations? Continue reading
Posted in Conferences, General
Tagged #forlaterlife, Age UK, Age UK blog, Ageing, ageing population, ageing society, Agenda for Later Life, Agenda for Later Life 2013 report, attitudes to ageing, Ben Page Ipsos Mori, For Later Life conference, Government & society, intergen, intergenerational, intergenerational conflict, Ipsos Mori, Later life, Michelle Mitchell Age UK, Michelle Mitchell Charity Director General, older people, public attitudes, Public attitudes to later life