From Help the Aged …

Dear Councillor Macpherson

We’re very grateful for your support of our Just Equal Treatment campaign over the past year, and keep a regular eye on your blog for updates you may receive following your letters to ministers.

As the forthcoming Equality Bill looms closer, we’re intensifying our campaign, and have launched a viral video to highlight just how ridiculous leaving ageism legal would be. I hope you find it amusing, but more importantly, a powerful statement on how much we need to move forward.

You can find the video by clicking on headline above, and to accompany this we are asking the public to email their MP to demand action from Gordon Brown – www.helptheaged.org.uk/takeaction.

Thank you for your ongoing support of older people’s issues.

Emerson Povey

Online Marketing Executive
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Help the Aged continues to lobby for Just Equal Treatment

I have mentioned in previous blog entries that, over the last year, Help the Aged has been calling for age discrimination to be included in the new Equalities Bill.
Last month over 500 people supported the campaign by emailing Harriet Harman MP and calling for an end to age discrimination. I myself wrote to the Minister and you can see the response I received at http://frasermacpherson.blogspot.com/2008/03/stop-age-discrimination-update.html
If you haven’t done so already, there is still time to add your voice to this important campaign. Click on the headline to email Harriet Harman MP, Leader of the House of Commons.
Please assist Help the Aged protect the rights of today’s 11 million older pensioners and those of future generations.

Stop age discrimination – update

I recently featured a blog entry about Help the Aged’s excellent campaign against age discrimination. Older people face age discrimination every day and Help the Aged is campaigning for a new law on age equality to give older people protection against age discrimination.
I wrote to the Minister responsible (Harriet Harman MP) and have now had this response from her office :
Thank you for your e-mail addressed to the Minister for Women and Equalities, the Right Honourable Harriet Harman QC MP, asking that legislative action be taken against age discrimination in the provision of goods, facilities and services.
Sadly, for reasons that I am sure you will understand, Ministers are unable to answer all their correspondence personally and your letter has been passed to me for reply.
The Government has recently consulted on its proposals for an Equality Bill, which it has a manifesto commitment to introduce during this Parliament. The consultation document, A Framework for Fairness, sought people’s views on whether there is a case for introducing legislation to prohibit harmful age discrimination in the provision of goods, facilities and services.
The consultation closed on September 4th last year. We received over 4000 responses and a significant number of these were about harmful age discrimination. The Government is now preparing its response which we hope to publish in due course.
The key question being considered is whether legislation would be the most appropriate way to tackle harmful age discrimination or whether it might be more appropriate to agree targeted measures to deal with those areas or sectors where there is evidence of harmful incidents. We are considering whether and how we can ensure that any legislation would not prevent beneficial differential treatment on grounds of age – like free TV licences for people aged over 75 and discounted access to leisure facilities for both older and younger people.
Thank you for drawing the Minister’s attention to this crucial policy area which, as more and more of our population lives longer, is high on our agenda.
Kind regards
Sharon Foster-King
Government Equalities Office

Stop age discrimination

Older people face age discrimination every day. A new law on age equality would give older people the same protection against age discrimination that currently exists against other forms of discrimination including race, sex and disability.

At Westminster there’s recently been a review of laws on discrimination, with Harriet Harman MP (as Leader of the House of Commons) being the Minister heading the review.

The Labour Government is now intending to draw together all the different discrimination laws under a Single Equality Bill but appears unconvinced that age discrimination exists, and may not include it in this legislation.


I support the excellent campaign by Help the Aged to get protection against age discrimination included in the proposed Single Equality Bill.


Help the Aged has a website with further information at www.helptheaged.org.uk