Government launches consultation on over 50s discrimination

The problem of age discrimination against over 50s is to be the subject of a new legal consultation by the Government Equalities Office (GEO).

As part of the forthcoming Equality Bill, the consultation outlines a series of initiatives designed to ensure that older people are fairly treated when receiving medical treatment, purchasing goods and services or shopping for insurance.

It is hoped the new laws, the bulk of which are intended to be in place by 2012, will prevent over 50s from being excluded or marginalised by social and commercial services, as well as offering them a means of recourse if they feel they are.

Dame Joan Bakewell, the government's voice of older people, said: "I receive a steady stream of letters from older people, providing clear evidence that they feel marginalised and undervalued. I welcome the government's determination to put that right."

Last week, over 50s charity Age Concern and Help the Aged called on the government to reform its means-tested benefit scheme for older people in response to news that as much as 5.4 billion worth of benefits are going unclaimed annually.

To view oranisations in our Charities section click here

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