Commissioner: “Older people being failed by lack of political agreement”
The Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland, Claire Keatinge, has expressed her disappointment at the Northern Ireland Executive's failure to deliver on its promise to introduce legislation which would better protect older people from discrimination.
Speaking after confirmation from OFMDFM that Age, Goods, Facilities and Services legislation would not be introduced in this Assembly term, Claire Keatinge said;
"We are an ageing society here in Northern Ireland, with more and more people living longer, healthier lives than ever before. Older people should have the same rights as everyone else to be protected from discrimination.
"Legal protection from discrimination on the grounds of age is a vital part of how our society should respect and reassure people of all ages, but particularly older people.
"I am deeply disappointed to hear that the Northern Ireland Executive has failed to deliver on their Programme for Government commitment to introduce legislation to protect people of all ages, including older people, from discrimination.
"Older people have been failed as a result of a lack of political agreement. They will continue to be lawfully discriminated against to the extent that they can be denied life improving or life saving treatment, as well as some financial services. Older people are deserving of the highest level of care and treatment, but the failure to introduce age discrimination legislation raises the question as to how important the rights of older people really are to the Northern Ireland Executive."