Partnership campaigns against ageism

A
partnership between Help the Aged and British Gas has launched Scrap it! – a
UK-wide campaign designed to expose and challenge age discrimination.

A
report by the partnership, Age Discrimination in Public Policy, reveals that
half the population (51 per cent) think this country treats older people as if
they are on the scrap heap, and 44 per cent of managers have experienced age
discrimination.

Forty-four
per cent of those polled feel that older people are considered a burden on
society.

The
launch of Scrap it! coincides with the final month of the Government’s
consultation on plans to outlaw discrimination in employment on the grounds of
age, sexual orientation and religion.

The
partnership says blatant discrimination is evident in health and social care,
social security, transport, employment and education.

It
says older people being excluded from the jobs market has a dramatic impact on
physical and mental health, and it is costing the economy an estimated £31bn in
lost production.

Help
the Aged director of policy Paul Cann said: "The insidious scourge of age
discrimination blights and restricts the lives of older people. Help the Aged
welcomes government steps to end discrimination, but these will be thwarted if
age continues to be an arbitrary way of rationing resources and barring access
to vital services."

Help
the Aged wants legislation on age diversity, required by the European Equal
Treatment Directive for 2006, to be brought forward and extended to cover
goods, services and facilities.

By Quentin Reade

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