The Alliance of Age Sector NGOs has made a joint pre-budget submission calling, once again, for the establishment of an Independent Commissioner for Ageing and Older People. The role was first proposed by the Alliance in January this year, as part of its report ‘Telling it like it is – Combatting Ageism’.
The Independent Commissioner would be directly accountable to the Oireachtas and have a mandate to safeguard and protect the interests and well-being of older people and an ageing population. Independent Commissioners were established in Northern Ireland in 2011 and Wales in 2008. They have a strong record of achievement with budgets in 2022 of £1.5m and £1.1m respectively.
Ireland is ageing faster than anywhere else in Europe. The over-65 population has grown by 35 per cent over the past decade, and this group is predicted to reach 1 million people by 2031.
The establishment of an Independent Commissioner in Ireland will help to ensure that Ireland’s various policy commitments relevant to older people are meaningfully monitored and that older people are treated with respect and on an equal basis with the rest of the population.
The Alliance’s Pre-Budget Submission is available to read here.
The Alliance’s more detailed position paper, which outlines the rationale for such an office, is available here.
Age & Opportunity is one of seven members of the Alliance. The others are: Active Retirement Ireland, ALONE, The Alzheimer Society of Ireland, Irish Hospice Foundation, The Irish Senior Citizens Parliament and Third Age.