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Putting Older People First

12 May, 2009 - by Martina Anderson MEP


Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún today met with members of the ‘Young at Heart Club’ in Glenravel, North Antrim.

Ms de Brún told members of the Young at Heart Club that Sinn Fein is determined to put the interests of older people first, here at home and in Europe and campaign for a guaranteed minimum income in order to ensure the right to a dignified life for everybody.  We will also campaign for a link between pensions and average earnings.

Ms de Brún said:

“As an active MEP, it is important to listen to the real needs of citizens. Rural isolation, poverty and discrimination faced by older people in relation to the provision of goods and services have all been issues that I have put a focus on during the past 5 years.

“One hugely significant development over the years was the Employment Equality Directive which outlaws unjustified age discrimination in employment and vocational training. The next important stage of equality legislation, going beyond employment and providing for equality of treatment in access to goods and services has now made good progress.

“Sinn Féin MEPs will promote fuller implementation of employment equality legislation at home to overcome the barriers and negative social attitudes facing older people in getting equal access to employment opportunities, and to training and re-training.

“We will continue to press for comprehensive non-discrimination legislation at EU level going beyond employment and dealing with access to goods and services, including the right of older people to finance, insurance, and adequate health services.

“We will continue to defend public services against liberalisation and oppose moves to subject health services to the internal market which would damage equality of access and particularly affect older people.

“Sinn Fein MEPs will campaign for a guaranteed minimum income in order to ensure the right to a dignified life for everybody.  We will also campaign for a link between pensions and average earnings and will work to ensure that older people can move freely within the EU without losing their pension rights.”

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