The Voice of Older People Donegal has expressed hock at the new government’s decision not to appoint a junior minister with responsibility for older people or ageing in the new administration. A spokesperson said yesterday: “There has been a junior minister in this position for the past fourteen years. The failure to appoint someone appears to be acknowledgement that the issues pertaining to older people are not recognised or valued.
“We are living in an ageing society, one which is faced with massive challenges in terms of addressing the pratical needs as well as the policy needs of older citizens. The issues that affect older people spiral outward to affect all of society, so it is difficult to understan the rationale for deciding to unceremoniously drop this important position.
“The post of minister for older people is central in guiding key elements of policy through, such as the National Positive Ageing Strategy. The current programme for government, states this strategy will be completed and implemented, but without a minister for older people it is now unclear who will be responsible for undertaking this work.
The failure to appoint a minister with responsibility for this area places a major question mark over how much of the age-related policies in the programme for government will actually be delivered. At a time when other countries are endeavoring to come to terms with the challenges of ageing, the decision by this administration does not bode well.”