Programme for Government 2023-24: what it means for older people

Older people throughout Scotland have been failed by Westminster for far too long.

The disastrous mini-budget jeopardised pensions and the Tories’ cost-of-living crisis places a further pressure on people’s already strained finances.

The SNP are determined to stand up for older people in Scotland and ensure that we deliver on their priorities.

Here’s what the Scottish Government’s plans mean for older people across Scotland.

Fighting social exclusion

Too many older people in Scotland feel left behind, coping with loneliness and a sense that they are excluded from their communities.

Austerity, the cost-of-living crisis and the economic impact of Brexit have worsened social problems such as social exclusion. The Scottish Government is committed to grappling with these issues head on.

In its plan for the year ahead, the Scottish Government will pilot the abolition of peak time rail fares to make train travel more reasonable for older people.

There are also plans to invest in road improvements to improve the links between communities, alongside the Programme for Government committing to increased spending in community services – helping to boost the fight against social exclusion.

Funded childcare

Many of Scotland’s grandparents are childminders too; for many families who can’t afford private childcare, this is the only option left open to them.

By investing in funded childcare for children in P1 to P5, the Scottish Government hopes to boost productivity and employment while also relieving the burden of hardworking families and giving more space for older people to enjoy their retirement and free time.

Social care staff increase

We’re increasing pay for social care workers in a direct care role to help social care staff, their families and our communities. This amounts to an increase of up to £2,000 per year for social care staff on full-time contracts, making the social care a more attractive employment option.

This will provide a much needed support to our precious social care sector, on which many older people depend.

The Scottish Government recognises the challenges older people are facing and is focused on delivering on their priorities, especially in the midst of Westminster’s cost-of-living crisis.

In addition to the support above, the Scottish Government will continue to work with its partners to advance equality for people throughout Scotland, in line with the Equality Act 2010. This includes engaging with the Older People’s Strategic Action Forum to identify and develop solutions to barriers faced by older people.

In contrast to the chaos of Westminster, the SNP’s focus is on building a wealthier, fairer, greener country. We will always stand by our older people, and ensure that we are working hard to deliver for them.