Pensioners' issues are being largely ignored
Scottish Pensioners’ Forum has written to the first minster to voice dismay at the absence of a specific ministerial position to consider the rights and welfare of older people
SPF chair, Rose Jackson, said that over past years the forum has worked closely with the minister for equalities and older people through the Older People’s Strategic Action Forum (OPSAF) and, along with many other older people’s organisations, has made some significant headway in doing so.
Representatives on OPSAF worked closely together when the pandemic hit and were confident that the stellar work carried out beforehand with the minister would be reinstated as a priority moving forward – but it appears to have just been largely ignored.
However Jackson added: "What we are seeing now is that the ministerial responsibility for older people’s welfare is just another casualty of the pandemic they have to endure - as if they haven’t suffered enough.
"We have called on the first minister to meet with us, and other older people’s organisations, to discuss our concerns and we hope that he treats this as a priority.
"Issues affecting older people are very specific and as we make up 20% of the population, being tagged onto an already stretched portfolio simply isn’t good enough.
"In 2019, the Fairer Scotland for Older People: a framework for action report formed part of the Programme for Government, which widely acknowledged the gross inequalities facing Scotland’s older citizens.
"If Scotland is serious about being a progressive nation, it can’t be seen to be regressing on its commitment to older people – what’s fair in that?"