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Commissioner extremely disappointed at decision not to take forward legislation to protect and promote older people’s rights

23.1.19

Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, Heléna Herklots CBE, said:

“I am extremely disappointed that the proposal to take forward new legislation to protect and promote the rights of older people in Wales was voted down following the Welsh Government’s decision to oppose it. The results of the vote represent a missed opportunity to make rights real for older people.

“Older people throughout Wales will feel that they have been let down and will no doubt be questioning the Welsh Government’s commitment to protecting and promoting their rights.

“The proposed legislation would have been a vital step towards embedding a rights-based approach throughout Wales, which would ensure a far greater focus on the rights and needs of individuals by policy- and decision-makers.

“Furthermore, the legislation would have ensured that older people have greater equality and parity with other groups who may be at risk of discrimination, alongside significantly raising the profile of older people’s rights and making clear the importance of upholding them.

“The Welsh Government now needs to set out the tangible action it will take to protect and promote older people’s rights, having rejected the opportunity for Wales to lead the way on this vital issue by introducing what would have been ground-breaking legislation.

“I have written to the First Minister to make clear my disappointment and my concerns about the Welsh Government’s commitment to older people’s rights and will closely scrutinise their alternative proposals to ensure they will deliver meaningful improvements for older people.”