Responding to the change in the title of the Scottish Minister for Equalities to exclude the brief of older people, Claire Donaghy, Head of Scotland at Independent Age said:
“At a time when older people in Scotland living in financial hardship are struggling more than ever, we are deeply concerned that there appears to no longer be a Minister with responsibility for older people’s issues. We hear from older people across Scotland every day who are skipping meals, not turning the lights on and who didn’t use the heating all winter. They already feel forgotten by the Government so if the Minister’s brief has changed, it is a further blow.
“The number of older people in financial hardship across Scotland has risen by a quarter in the last decade, with 1 in 7 now in poverty. More, not less, focus is needed from the Government to urgently tackle this. As well as reinstating the older person’s brief to the Minister for Equalities, Migration and Refugees, we’re calling for an independent Older People’s Commissioner in Scotland to work alongside politicians in every department, so older people’s voices are championed across Scottish Government. It is essential that the views and needs of people in later life are represented and not left out of the conversation.”