Assembly members will hear of how age discrimination is still a major problem in Northern Ireland this Wednesday (May 1) when older people relate their experiences of prejudice in a short play.
Mr McCarthy said the aim of the sketch – entitled ‘Age Discrimination’ – is to raise public awareness of age discrimination in public policy.”
Mr McCarthy, who is chair of the cross party group on ageing and older people, said: “Discrimination against older people is a prejudice, like racism, which is unfortunately too common. It is not only degrading, but in areas such as housing, health and social care, it can have disastrous consequences.”
“Help the Aged’s report into discrimination in public policy uncovered strong evidence of instances where age is used to determine what treatment someone is offered or how much they will pay for a service. For example, age cut-offs are the most obvious way in which older people are denied access to health services.”
“But we can take practical measures to scrap age discrimination and replace it with equality. Perhaps the most important thing we can do as politicians, is to prioritise the Single Equality Bill for Northern Ireland, which would outlaw age discrimination.”
“This important legislation has slipped down the list of the Executive’s long list of things to do, and it is crucial that the maximum effort is made by all MLAs to end discrimination against older people.”
Notes to editors:
The presentation of ‘Age Discrimination’ takes place in the Long Gallery, Parliament Buildings, on Wednesday, May 1 at 11.20pm. Media representatives are welcome to attend.