Canvassing questions #2: Looking after our seniors

As part of my series of ‘canvassing questions’ I am using this blog to provide answers to questions I’ve been asked on the doorstep. Whilst out canvassing yesterday the topic of conversation regularly turned to caring for our elderly…

The Conservatives are passionate about protecting the most vulnerable in society, especially our elderly.  David Cameron has spoken many times about this area of policy, and even just a couple of weeks ago, gave “his word” that benefits for the elderly including winter fuel payments and bus passes will be protected under a Conservative government (see the full Telegraph article here http://bit.ly/a5XQaV).

Furthermore, in a separate article with The Times, David Cameron again spoke about the elderly being an integral part of a new governments focus, saying:

“I understand many, many pensioners live on incredibly tight budgets and so increases in electricity prices, or gas prices, or council tax, put incredible pressure on…And what I want to see is the ability to give people the chance to have dignity and security in old age…We are facing a very difficult situation in this country — huge budget deficits, massive problems with the Government’s finances.”

In the same article, David Cameron also confirmed commitments to re-linking the state pension with earnings and to freezing council tax for two years.

One of the other concerns many elderly have is the cost of care, with residential care often costing into the tens of thousands, sadly forcing some to sell their homes to cover cost .   This is why, back in October 2009, the party unveiled their “home protection scheme” which was designed to prevent older people having to sell their properties to fund long-term care.  The scheme gained the backing of Coronation Street star Bill Roach (who plays Ken Barlow) who talks about the scheme below along with his concerns about Labours so-called ‘Death Tax’ policy.

Additionally, in January the Shadow Health Secretary, Stephen O’Brien, further pointed out that the scheme also covers “our commitment to dementia research and to cash-in-hand budgets such as Attendance Allowance and personal budgets. It shows that we understand that people want to be able to take control of their own care in ways that are flexible and unique.”.

Our Local Commitment

On a local level, I am passionate about making sure our elderly are properly cared for and listened to.  In fact, as a local party we are pledging that we will protect our most vulnerable people by:

  • Aiming to  secure more high quality affordable housing each year
  • Keeping well maintained sheltered accommodation for elderly and disadvantaged residents
  • Creating a Senior Citizen Panel and listen to what it has to say
The latter of these is something I am personally keen to explore further should I be elected.  In particular, because I believe our society is lacking if we lose touch with the experience and wisdom of our senior community.
I hope this article has been useful, and I look forward to finding out what question I will be writing about tomorrow when I am canvassing this evening!

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