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  • chris walsh

4 days to go to have our senior say on London's recovery

the last couple of weeks have been very active in trying to upload and post recommendations, concerns and proposals to the London Recovery Board and GLA about what older Londoners need from the recovery plans afoot. This is particularly important as at present older (50+)Londoners hardly feature.

The main concerns I and colleagues have is that there is little attention or reference being made to the impact of the pandemic on the over 50s in many areas.

Starting with work - employment and skills, while it is clear young people have been badly affected - and we understand and support measures to help them,- older people have also been impacted, with the over 50s , already featuring badly in the long term unemployed and workless statistics, we have now been the victims of lay offs, which are getting worse with the end of furlough. Added to that many vulnerable working older people are now at risk of being forced back to work in unsafe conditions- with masks not compulsory in offices and schools in a state of confusion over risk levels, mask wearing and social distancing. Many of the over 2 million people who were shielding are now facing the prospect of returning on unsafe transport to unsafe working conditions. This has to be addressed as well as apprenticeship schemes and training in work and for unemployed being equally available to the the 50+ as the under 25s. It needs to be remembered that when heads of households are unemployed this increases the chances that everyone will be and also leads to family poverty. Many older people - including those over pension age for whom some work is essential to stave off poverty - are in low skilled and front line jobs and they along with all workers need to know that their employers will provide a safe environment, that it is safe to travel into work - and that rules will be enforced. The 50+ silver economy and the 65+ grey pound are key elements in the economic recovery, if older people are left to rot in unemployment and are not able to feel safe when going to work or going out shopping then this recovery will be very slow and very limited

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