Look to the Island kingdom of Britain for a taste of the future. Because of its size and location, it has to pay attention to recycling, land conservation and other issues such as immigration way in advance of larger land states.
Last winter saw a proposal that the Elderly give up their large homes and downsize. The government knows just how many bedrooms are in Britain and this was their solution to the problem.
Research has shown that an estimated 25 million bedrooms in England are empty, this is believed to be largely due to elderly. Couples not moving out of large family homes.
At the same time many young families are increasingly being squeezed into small homes and overcrowded flats.
The scheme which is outlined by the housing minister Grant Shapps, proposes that local councils help the elderly home owner downsize to smaller properties and then rent out their homes to families on local housing waiting lists.
Under the proposals, local authorities would take the responsibility for maintaining and renting out the vacated properties at affordable prices, but below many private rented accommodation. For example a four bedroom house managed by the council could be rented out for approximately £1,300 per month.
Profit made on the property would be handed back to the owner. The government believes the proposal would provide extra support for the elderly owner without them having to sell their ‘beloved’ homes.
It is believed that lower council tax, utility bills and also the income from their former home could mean that elderly owners could potentially save them ore than £7,000 a year. (see remainder of article here.)
On the pension side, the squeeze is on as well.
Currently, a man can claim his state pension at 65 and a woman at around 61.
But the age is being raised for both to 66 by 2020, 67 by 2028 and 68 by 2046 and will continue to rise.Critics say it will be impossible for many people to continue to work late into their sixties and seventies due to ill health, or the fact that they simply cannot find a boss to hire them.
The report, published yesterday, said a state pension age of ‘67 – or higher – is becoming the new 65’.Millions of people said they either do not have a pension or have one which will not cover the cost of a comfortable retirement
It added that age increases are the most controversial element of pension reforms as they are often the only thing people know about.
‘The pensionable age is the most visible of the many numbers in the pension system.
‘Indeed, it is often the only one of which the majority of the population is aware of,’ said the report.
The state pension age has already reached 67 in some countries, including Iceland and Norway.
And it will continue to rise in Britain – a move which the OECD said yesterday must be handled carefully to ensure people have enough time to prepare.
It said there must be a ‘clear information strategy’ about future changes.
Sadly, age discrimination in health care and in the workplace also plague many in Britain. Workplace discrimination has been outlawed but more recently, it has become against the law to refuse medical treatment to the elderly or to put them at the back of the line.
Elderly patients are to receive legal protection against being denied medical treatment simply because of their advanced years, ministers will announce today.
A ban against age discrimination in public services, such as health and social care, is to come into force in October. It will outlaw doctors, care home staff and hospital managers from deciding on levels of care on any grounds other than medical need.
Patients or relatives who believe they have been discriminated against because of their age or are being regarded as a lower priority than younger people with the same condition will able to sue health managers.
Nurses and careers will also face a legal obligation to treat older people with respect and dignity. See remainder of article here.
There is a disturbing trend here to take from one of the weakest segments of society to benefit the youngest and strongest. Best to always remember if the government or anyone can do anything against one class or age group, they can do it against another. It is a mind set to be nipped in the bud.