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Age concern: Pre-Budget plans are "short-sighted"

6th December 2005

Age Concern has welcomed the proposals outlined in the pre-Budget report but warns that the government must do more to tackle the problems of an "ageing society".

Gordon Brown announced plans to ensure that elderly people are kept warm during the winter months with Winter Fuel Payments increased to £300 for those over 80 and a promise to continue with the £200 payments for the over 60s.

However, Age Concern argues that the plans do not go far enough and should be following a more long-term aim to improve standards of living for the older population.

"His announcement to help older people with their winter bills is a relief for poorer pensioners but short-sighted," commented Gordon Lishman, director general of Age Concern England.

"The ageing society is one of the biggest social and political challenges of our time. We need bold political leadership to turn our ageing society into an opportunity rather than a burden."

The problems with rising bills for older residents who live alone has prompted many people to turn to care homes as an alternative way of ensuring adequate heating is provided.