Sinn Féin MLA’s Megan Fearon and Mickey Brady have said that they are concerned about the time being taken to decide the scope of the Goods, Facilities and Services legislation.
Children and Young Peoples spokesperson Megan Fearon said,
“This delay is incomprehensible and if the Assembly is embarking upon a piece of anti-discrimination legislation then surely no right thinking person would want to start that process by discriminating against any section of our society”.
“Many young people already face discrimination simply because of their age, with negative stereotypes about them dictating how they are treated”.
It was pointed out that the Assembly had debated and passed a motion supporting the call that everyone should be covered within the scope of the legislation. Whilst some concerns were expressed it was made it clear that proscribing age discrimination did not mean the removal of age-based services.
Older persons spokesperson Mickey Brady added,
“The need for the protection provided within the proposed legislation needs to apply to everyone. Older people of course want protections but I am sure that as grand parents or great grand-parents they do not want to see their grand-children or great grand-children discriminated against”.
“There are occasions where age based services are appropriate, such as free travel for the elderly or vaccinations for infants”.
“Everyone understands that there are reasons for treating adults and children and young people differently but that there has to be justifiable reasons for doing so.
“We often talk about inter-generational issues and we believe that this legislation is a perfect example of where those interests meet”.
“Children, young people and older people need the protection of this legislation and we are sure that no one wants to see any section of our society discriminated against.
“Following on from the debate in the Assembly Sinn Féin is calling upon all parties, but particularly the DUP to set out their positions on the proposed legislation.”