Morgan Vine, Head of Policy and Influencing at Independent Age, said:
“Today’s ‘age of optimism’ Budget wasn’t as optimistic for those in older age.
“We welcome the extra funding earmarked for the NHS to alleviate the record backlog of people waiting, but more detail is needed on how the government will support older people waiting for treatment so that fewer people are left languishing in pain.
“It is unclear how the pots of money announced by the Chancellor will mitigate the workforce crises in both health and social care. Neither sector will be able to build back better without a workforce strategy that addresses their dire levels of understaffing.
“While we have been pleased to see social care reform on the agenda in recent months, today was a missed opportunity to support those who rely on this vital system to live their lives with dignity. The social care system needs money now. Without significant and targeted investment specifically for adult social care, local authorities will be unable to ensure that the people who need support receive it.
“We are also disappointed by the suspension of the triple lock. Our own analysis at Independent Age revealed that pensioner poverty is on the rise. Nearly 1 in 5 pensioners are currently living in relative poverty, the highest rate since 2008, which means that 2.1 million pensioners are struggling financially. Suspending the triple lock will negatively impact older people living on a low income at the worst possible time.
“Currently, older people in the UK receive one of the least generous state pensions in the developed world. The triple lock is vital in protecting the value of the state pension for people in later life and future generations.”