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Review into Older People’s Commissioner likely to be completed by end of year

14 September, 2007

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Older People, Newry Armagh MLA Mickey Brady has said that a Commissioner for Older People would create a mechanism to bring the rights of Older People into the heart of Executive decision making.

The MLA confirmed that the OFMDFM (Office of First and Deputy First Minister) had written to him informing him that the review into the appointment of a Commissioner for Older People would be complete by the end of 2007.

Mr Brady said:

"I am delighted that the department has said that it wants to conclude this review by the end of the year.

"It that it important that the review ensures widespread consultation not just with the sector and relevant organisations but also directly with older people.

"Older people have made a lifetime contribution to our society, through their work, their taxes and voluntary work in their communities. Unfortunately the standard of living of many of our older people does not meet their needs or reflect the contribution they make.

"It is absolutely vital that mechanisms are developed to properly value and recognise the contribution of older people to our society as a whole.

"We need to support older people in realising their vital role in our communities. A number of issues such as low income, access to transport, health and housing, need to be addressed. Older people should be consulted in decision making at all levels of government. The appointment of a Commissioner for Older People would provide an important mechanism for challenging and reviewing policy and decision making and would give a focused role in articulating the demands and rights of older people. These rights must be at the heart of Executive decision making." ENDS

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