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Only 4% feel politicians care about older people’s issues

Polling place

1 July 2024

Ahead of the UK General Election on 4th July, new data from Age Scotland has revealed that only 4% of older people feel politicians care about issues affecting them.

The survey also highlighted that the top three priorities for older people in this General Election are social care, healthcare and pensions, with 96% believing it important that the UK Government keep the Triple Lock on the State Pension. 

Of those eligible to vote, 93% said they voted in the last UK General Election and 91% said they were likely to vote on Thursday. 

However, with so few feeling their concerns are given enough attention, the charity believes politicians from across the political spectrum should take these findings as a “wake-up call”. 

The charity is also reminding older voters to take a valid form of ID to the polling station, as 1 in 10 older voters were not aware of the requirement.

Age Scotland's Chief Executive Katherine Crawford said:

“It’s extremely disappointing that our research has shown that a significant majority of voters do not feel politicians care about issues affecting older people.

“When asked what the UK’s next Prime Minister top priority should be, older people highlighted vital issues such as health and social care, pensions and the cost of living.

“There is a stark contrast between the number of older people who are likely to vote (93%) and those who believe their issues receive the attention they deserve (4%), and this represents a real missed opportunity in this election.

“There is an overall sense of frustration that Government promises are not being kept, and we hope our research acts as the wake-up call politicians need to realise that a key demographic is feeling unvalued and unheard.

“Older people have made and continued to make valuable contributions to our society, and they deserve to have their voices strengthened and their needs considered in decisions made by Government.”

When asked their priorities for the next Prime Minister, survey respondents said: 

  • “To take care of the older generation. I don’t think they care about us at all.” 
  • “To respect them (older people) as human beings and ensure they are helped with loneliness which age sadly brings along with it.” 
  • “The care system, it is badly failing. Unpaid carers are very important but hardly recognised or noticed. Too many penalties applied when carers receive benefits and work is also a problem. The NHS could not survive without all of the carers.” 
  • “To ensure there is support for pensioners who only have the state pension, including by supporting charities that provide care and friendship for those who are alone.”