Cross-government ageing population strategy unveiled by pensions minister

24 March 2005
Pensions minister Malcolm Wicks unveiled the first ever cross-government strategy addressing the issues facing Britain's ageing demographic yesterday.

Mr Wicks also announced the publication of Opportunity Age - Meeting the challenges of ageing in the 21st century, a Department for Work and Pensions investigation into the topic.

Opportunity Age outlines key government policy on the ageing population, including incentives to keep older people in work - such as a lump sum worth up to £30,000 if people take their state pension five years later - and the promotion of services to increase older people's independence and security.

"With statistics showing that by 2007 there will be more people over state pension age than aged under 16, the importance of this strategy is clear. Right across Whitehall government departments are showing today their commitment to meeting the challenge of Britain's changing society," Mr Wicks stated.

"This paper is about shedding the stereotypes that surround our older people and instead ensuring that government can help people to live the lives that they want and deserve."

Link-Age, one initiative described in the report, would see the establishment of a one-stop shop visiting team offering older people full benefit, personal care, heating and housing check-ups.

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