We must give older people a "fair deal"

Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert has said that a new Government must rebuild trust and give older people a “fair deal”.

Mr Herbert was speaking at a meeting of the Mid Sussex Older People's Council in Hassocks on Friday afternoon (3 July).

Mr Herbert said it was vital that politicians and the media did not overlook the needs of older people who have been hit "disproportionately hard" by rising food, utility and council tax bills, while at the same time seeing their income from savings drop as interest rates have plummeted.

Mr Herbert commented: "Older people, in large part, have played by the rules throughout their lives, worked hard, paid their taxes, and can then be overlooked when they move into retirement, as though they don't matter any more.  And that must be wrong.  Older people deserve more political attention and we should have more regard to their concerns, many of which affect us all."

The MP said that levels of council tax were now "unbearable" for many elderly people, having more than doubled in the past twelve years.  Mr Herbert pledged that a new Conservative Government would work with local councils to freeze the level of council tax for two years.

Mr Herbert also pledged that a new Conservative Government would restore the link between the state pension and average earnings, a move that was welcomed by members of the Older People's Council at the meeting.

During the meeting, in which members of the audience were invited to ask questions, Mr Herbert also discussed the campaign to preserve services at local hospitals in West Sussex, the importance of protecting the NHS, the threat to mental health services in Mid Sussex, the loss of facilities for older people at the Beacon Centre in Hassocks, the cost of adult education classes and the need to get police officers back on the beat.



Notes for Editors

1. The meeting was held at the Adastra Hall, Keymer Road, Hassocks, West Sussex BN6 8QH.

2. For the website of the Mid Sussex Older People's Council, visit http://www.msopc.org.uk/.

Christopher N Howarth