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Sinn Féin committed to promoting the rights of Older People

22 February, 2008

Gerry Adams MP, MLA speaking at the West Belfast Senior Citizens Forum AGM today committed Sinn Féin to promoting the rights of older people.

Mr Adams said:

"I want to commend the work of the West Belfast Senior Citizens Forum and to wish you all well for the future.

"Sinn Féin is about equality and under Section 75 of the Good Friday Agreement equality is now part of the legislative process. The success of the Assembly and the other institutions will be measured by how it delivers on the Equality agenda for everyone, and particularly for Senior Citizens.

"Sinn Féin has campaigned tirelessly for a Commissioner for Older People. This has been agreed in principle and it is now of key importance that the post is as powerful as possible.

"It is crucial therefore that advocates for Senior Citizens rights attend the consultation events to examine the role and remit of the Commissioner".

Gerry Adams also outlined the main elements of Sinn Féin Senior Citizens' Charter. These include:

  • Commissioner for Senior Citizens;
  • Fundamental review of the standard of living of senior citizens, including pension provision, cost of living, fuel poverty and disposable income;
  • Removal of discriminatory policy in respect of the sale of bungalows to people over sixty years old;
  • All new public housing to be designed to meet life-long needs;
  • Year on year targets to eliminate unnecessary deaths from cold;
  • Simplify and streamline the system of application for grants for adaptation work for access to basic amenities in the home;
  • Design of streets and roads should ensure a safe environment for senior citizens;
  • Introduction of free personal care;
  • An adequate level of nursing care in residential accommodation;
  • Fair access to health care for senior citizens based on clinical need;
  • Extension of resources available for home security provided through Health and Social Services;
  • More resources for community based initiatives that promote social inclusion e.g. wider roll out of initiatives such as Good Morning Galliagh and Good Morning Colin;
  • Free telephone line rental, free TV licences and examination of potential of free Internet access;
  • Free public transport across the island of Ireland.


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