Are we in danger of setting one group in society against another?

Just a quick post because it is very topical… Front page of the Daily Telegraph today: “Elderly told: go back to work and downsize”.

“Elderly people should be encouraged to go back to work and move into smaller homes, one of David Cameron’s key advisers said last night”. There is apparently a “nudge” unit a.k.a No.10 Behavioural Insight Team… Do you see shades of Orwellian 1984 or a sensible approach to addressing real problems in society?

The “nudge unit” is a “government team which has the task of developing ways to change people’s behaviour that do not require legislation” a.k.a “apply social pressure…”
But how much damage will be done by people looking at disabled people askance to see if they REALLY deserve that benefit or looking at older people to see if they REALLY need to stay in that big house, after the children have left…

And incidentally, this is an article about loneliness…. Perhaps the older people will be less lonely if the grown-up children and their families can come and visit once in a while!

Anyway, the debate is raging. Already 450 comments posted on the Telegraph website. I have posted a similar discussion in our LinkedIn group (the personalisation group to integrate social care, health and housing), as well as in the Big Society group.

As one commentator has said already, this government is certainly sparking some interesting conversations over the breakfast table…


About Gill Phillips - Whose Shoes?

Passionate about personalisation in health & social care. Creator of Whose Shoes? - an imaginative approach to helping people work together to improve lives.
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One Response to Are we in danger of setting one group in society against another?

  1. Chris Isaacs says:

    Why do Goverments always expect the elderly to make sacrifices to help bail the goverment out. It should be remembered that the vast majority of our elderly population have worked all their lives and paid their taxes and National Insurance. In turn, a vast majority of these people have never through their working lives sought support from the goverment. However, when they are unfortunate to fall on hard times health wise, the goverment conveniently forgets their life time contributions and expects them to downsize from the property they have worked their whole lives to purchase.

    Whilst this may be a controversial comment, I believe the goverment would gain far more public support if they actively reduced our expenditure on foreign nationals moving to our country as well as ceasing aid to other countries until we are in a position to afford it.

    The wellbeing of british nationals who have paid into the pot should be first and foremost in any goverments mind and until this happens the goverment will continue to allienate the people it is voted to protect.

    The increased volume of older people who need assistance has been predictable for the last 50 years yet no-one seems to have effectively planned for this. What scares me (purely from a selfish perspective) is the likely state of health care, especially in the community, in 30 years time when I might need it. Without the correct planning now there isn’t a hope that even the current sorry state of care will be available other than to those that can self-fund!!


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