Headlines: May 3rd, 2000

The startling extent of exclusion of people over 50 has been revealed in the latest report from the Government’s Performance and Innovation Unit (PIU).’Winning the Generation Game’ reveals that unemployment among the over 50 age group is costing sixteen billion pounds in lost GDP each year.

It shows that one in three people between 50 and pension age are not in paid work, most have not left their work voluntarily.

Nearly half of this group are dependent on state benefits and have no expectation of an occupational pension income.

By 2020, demographic trends could add a further million people to this group. In response, Alistair Darling, Secretary of State for Social Security, has been named as Cabinet-level champion for older people. Mr Darling will be driving forward Government policy on four areas recommended by the report: changing attitudes to the value of older people, encouraging employers to create more flexible working, renewed state effort to help those over 50 who want work to find it, and encouragement of volunteering.

PIU report link: www.cabinet-office.gov.uk