Independent Age in the News
Nearly 25% Brits have been targeted by scammers
Research commissioned by smart home security company, Ring, found 21 percent of the population know someone who had been the victim of an attempted scam or suspected scam in the last 12 months. Elderly parents (38 percent) and elderly neighbours (26 percent) are the groups adults are most worried about falling victim to a doorstep scam. The article mentions Independent Age's scam advice and directs people to our website. The story has featured in over 35 regional outlets, the Mirror and the Express.
Media volunteer Pension Credit interview
Independent Age media volunteer, Thabani, spoke to The Sun about the impact Pension Credit has had on her life. She discusses how Independent Age helped her not only apply for Pension Credit , but also made her aware of her eligibility for Attendance Allowance, further boosting her income. The article includes links to our website, our Helpline number and encourages people to get in touch if they think they might be eligible. Read the full story here.
Charities unite to demand Government creates OPC
A powerful coalition of charities and campaign groups have signed a statement calling on the creation of an Older People’s Commissioner.
The demand for an OAP tsar comes as pensioner poverty has soared to 150,000.
Labour MSP Colin Smyth is to launch a member’s bill for a dedicated commissioner for senior citizens.
The plan is being supported by 30 groups who have signed a “consensus statement”, released by the Independent Age charity.
It reads: “We call on the Scottish Government to establish an Older People’s Commissioner for Scotland to act as an independent champion for older people and ensure that policy and practice across government considers the long-term needs of people in later life.
“A commissioner would facilitate the long-term planning that is needed to ensure our economy and public services are adapting to demographic shifts, while also enabling more people to age well.
“Older people want to be part of the nation’s vision, now, and in the future. As our older population becomes increasingly diverse, we believe that older people urgently need a champion to help make Scotland the best place in the world to grow old.”
The declaration was signed by groups including Age Scotland, Scottish Care, Fuel Poverty Action and the National Pensioners Convention.
Supporters believe a Commissioner could tackle issues such as poverty, loneliness and social care provision.
Debbie Horne, Scotland Policy and Public Affairs Manager at Independent Age, said: “The dangerous stereotype that all older people are financially secure is common, and too often older people are not given the opportunity to voice their experience about what they need, including better financial support. This is wrong.
“We all deserve to look forward to our later years and an Older People’s Commissioner could help. If introduced they will be an independent champion standing up for everyone in later life.
“We urge the Scottish Government to establish an Older People’s Commissioner and bring Scotland into line with the other devolved nations to ensure no one feels left out of the conversation as they age.”
Smyth said: “There’s no doubt there is widespread support to create an Older People’s Commissioner for Scotland.
“The profound impact of the Covid pandemic on older people showed the lack of someone independent of Government but with the ear of Ministers at the table when big decisions affecting older people are being made.
Pension Credit Scandal! £1.1bn still unclaimed
Independent Age will deliver a £1.1bn invoice to the government to highlight the value of Pension Credit still going unclaimed. The charity estimates that the money is large enough to pay the annual average energy bill for 454,000 households. Read more about the campaign in the Daily Mirror.
Commissioner for Older People and Ageing coverage
As part of the ongoing campaign for a Commissioner for Older People and Ageing in England, Independent Age released a video and held an event in parliament. The video included footballer Sir Geoff Hurst, radio DJ Tony Blackburn, choreographer and theatre director Dame Arlene Phillips, actor Don Warrington and TV chef Rustie Lee who all added their voices to the campaign. The campaign and video was covered by over a hundred national and regional news outlets including The Mirror, The Times (print), The Express, The Scotsman (print), The Herald, Evening Standard.
Old people left 'stuck in bed' due to cold
Independent Age's comment on the tragic death of Barbara Bolton, 87, from hypothermia after she feared turning on her heating, was used extensively in the Greater Manchester Evening News both in print and online. John Palmer, Director of Policy and Communications, expressed his sadness and anger at the avoidable death of Barbara, and the fact that many more older people experiencing poverty have been ‘stuck in bed’ during the cold months. He urges people to reach out to IA if they are in need of support, and check their eligibility for Pension Credit.
Inflation negates State Pension increase
Independent Age received a request from the Daily Mail to give comment on how our helpline calls have been affected by the increased cost of living. John Palmer, Director of Policy and Communications, explained how money worries are now the main topic of concern in these calls. Hundreds of calls a month coming through to our helpline are now asking for cost of living support, grants, or a way to increase their income. The Daily mail quoted John both in print and online.
Decision on UK pension age rise delayed
The government postponed a decision on bringing forward the State Pension age increase. We issued a comment welcoming this decision that was featured in The Guardian. They also referenced our research that shows that previous rise in the state pension age had resulted in increased poverty among older people.