Follow our lead says Pensioners Parliament

Lord Mayor of Belfast Nuala McAllister with pensioners from across the city

The Northern Ireland Pensioners Parliament is sending a clear message to political parties here – it’s time to follow our lead!  As the only Parliament in operation in Northern Ireland at present, its members are keen to show MLAs how it should be done.                     

The first of eleven ‘local parliaments’ due to take place during 2018 will take place in Belfast today, and the charity responsible – Age Sector Platform – has committed to holding one in each council area in Northern Ireland over the coming months.

Ivan Baxter from Age Sector Platform commented:

“Members of the Pensioners Parliament come from all walks of life.  Some hold a Nationalist viewpoint; some hold a Unionist one and others would say they hold neither.  Some come from an ethic minority background and some have a disability. Some live in a rural area and others are city folk.  But, we all have something in common - a desire to make life better for older people in Northern Ireland.  That is what we care about most and it’s what we work towards through discussion and debate at the Pensioners Parliament.”

“The collapse of the Northern Ireland Assembly has resulted in so many important issues being neglected.  Older people are suffering, along with others, as a result of long waiting lists and inadequate care packages.  Fear of crime is also noticeable among the older population following some horrendous attacks on older people in their homes.  Rural bus services have been threatened which will only serve to make older people feel more isolated; and many older people are struggling to heat their homes during this harsh winter.”

“What we want from our elected representatives is action.  Securing a devolved government with local and accountable Ministers will prove their desire, just like the Pensioners Parliament, to make life better for all the people in Northern Ireland.”

Anyone over the age of 60 who would like to attend their upcoming local parliament should contact Age Sector Platform on 028 9031 2089 or visit www.pensionersparliament.org.