The Government’s response to the House of Lords Public Service and Demographic Change Committee report ‘Ready for Ageing?’ has been attacked by the committee chairman, Lord Filkin, as weak and failing to give leadership on the biggest social change facing our society.
The committee called for the production of a White Paper setting out the scale of the challenges from our rapidly ageing population and the implications for individuals and society, and to invite business, financial services providers and others to consider how we all need to change to make a success of an ageing society.
Lord Filkin said: “Our rapidly ageing society is our biggest social change, profoundly affecting our economy, public services, finances and every person and family in the country. The government’s weak response has failed again to address this and is deeply disturbing. Our committee found our society was “woefully underprepared” for ageing; with this response the Government appear to be wilfully underprepared.
“We need the government to publish a White or Green Paper as an analysis of this issue and to be straight with the public about the choices. The government’s job is to lead informed debate for our society, individuals and business on how we all address our biggest social change and challenge to ensure it is beneficial – not a crisis.
“Government and all political parties prefer to keep the public in the dark in the run-up to the election about the looming challenges to our welfare settlement. Yet how political parties will address these imminent challenges ought to be central to the election debate.
“In the light of this the members of my committee intend to challenge all political parties to address these issues properly and honestly before the next General Election.”