PAIL, in association with Age UK London (AUKL), held an interesting conference on 5th September at the DWP offices in Hammersmith on age and employment and economic development in London, in partnership with DWP who presented updates on their 50+ strategy and the impact of the national roll out of Universal Credit.
There were presentations on The DWP’s Strategy for Older Workers by David Anderson, on Universal Credit by Andrea and Corrine Gregory from DWP, on the Economic and Employment Contribution of Older Londoners by Chris Walsh of PAiL & Wise Age, and on The Benefits of Older Londoners to London’s Economy by Gordon Deuchars from Age UK London. Please find these presentations attached.
The quality of the presentations and of the subsequent discussion were excellent but unfortunately the turn out was lower than we hoped.
In summary, it was made clear just how important the contribution of older people is to the economy and employ situation in London. The impact of both the silver economy and older working age employment is a key factor in the economic development and growth of London
There was also a very good explanation as to how the DWP is progressing with its 50+ strategy and the impact of the roll out of Universal Credit (UC) in relation to older people. As 7 current major benefits are being rolled into one with UC this is both an opportunity for people to understand and receive their full entitlement in one package. It should simplify benefits including those of people up to 65. However it was noted that pension payments are not included in this new UC programme and thus will not directly affect those who are solely pensioners, but not receiving other benefits.
A matter of some concern to the 50+ is the fact that this new approach to universal benefits is going to be only online and digital, which as was raised at the meeting, is of considerable concern for those who are ‘digitally excluded’, which can include some of those with mental or physical disabilities, older pensioners – particularly those aged 80+ – and those with low incomes / low levels of education. This is an issue which the 50+ will need to raise with the DWP to see if there are ways that both older people themselves and also staff can be supported to help those for whom online applications is not currently an option.
This event was finished with a group discussion where point of interest and concern of older people in relation to employment and older people was raised and is now being submitted to the Mayors office for their consideration while drawing up with their strategy for employment and econ dev.
This was the latest in our PAiL series of open events in which older Londoners can have their say om the key issues that affect them and also to provide an opportunity for us to have our say on the different Mayor of London’s strategies.
The next meeting PAiL is organising – this time in partnership with Age UK London and Hyde Housing – is on Housing and Older People on 18th September, at 336, Brixton Road, London SW9 7AA, from 10.00 (Registration) to 3.30, with a light lunch available. Please click here to book your place.