NEWS:

The Ready for Ageing Alliance is extremely disappointed that the Government has missed a key opportunity to ensure our country is ready for the demographic revolution of our ageing society.

Today (18th July) the Government announced that it will not be following the recommendation of the report published by the House of Lords Committee on Public Service and Demographic Change, led by Lord Filkin, to publish a White Paper on the issue before the next general election.

This decision means that a key opportunity to address the challenges and opportunities of an ageing society has been missed. With the numbers of over 65s due to increase by 51% between 2010 and 2030, it is clear that our society will undergo a dramatic change for which public services need to be ready.

The Ready for Ageing Alliance members are Age UK, Alzheimer’s Society, Anchor, Carers UK, the Centre for Policy on Ageing, Independent Age, the International Longevity Centre-UK and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. The alliance was set up in April to urge the Government and all political parties to show the vision needed to lead our society through the demographic changes.

Baroness Greengross, Chief Executive of the International Longevity Centre-UK said:

“We are very disappointed that the Government has decided not to commit to a White Paper setting out their vision for public services in an ageing society, as the House of Lords Committee on Demographic Change recommended earlier this year.

“If we are to capitalise on the opportunities of an ageing society, as well as manage the risks, policymakers need to look seriously at the impact of demographic change. We need a coherent and long term strategy which recognises the challenges our society faces."

Claire Turner, Head of Team, Joseph Rowntree Foundation said:

“The Government’s decision not to develop a White Paper on an ageing society constitutes a real missed opportunity. It is attempting for policymakers to postpone thinking about ageing in favour of more immediate crises, but failing to take a long term view means that we risk being ill-prepared for the implications of the changing demographic make-up of our population. If so it will be tomorrow’s pensioners who will really lose out.”

Janet Morrison, Chief Executive at Independent Age said:

“It is terribly short-sighted of the Government not to be doing more now to prepare for an ageing society. Ministers repeatedly say they want to encourage young and middle-aged people to plan for their retirement but they are in danger of not taking their own advice, to the detriment of us all.

“Ageing is already with us: life expectancy in this country increases by five hours each day. If now isn’t the right time to do some longer term thinking about the realities of a rapidly ageing society, when is?”

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