Ulster Unionist MLA Mike Nesbitt has expressed his disgust at what he calls the latest example of soulless government, the decision by the Department for Communities not to fund Age Sector Platform, the body responsible for the Pensioners’ Parliament.
Mike Nesbitt MLA said:
“Having read the letter from the Department for Communities declining the funding request, I despair. On the one hand, Age Sector Platform is applauded for diversifying its funding streams and for the good work it does for older people, but with a short sweep of the pen, the application for help is dismissed out of hand.
“It is all very well to quote the lack of Executive Ministers to make decisions – and ultimately this is about political failure by the DUP and Sinn Féin – but Executive Ministers regularly accept invitations to speak at the Pensioners’ Parliament, where they speak positively about the Parliament’s work. Surely that in itself is an endorsement of Age Sector Platform, who are seeking a relatively modest sum to ensure they do not have to fold.
“Age Sector Platform submitted a detailed, fifteen page Business Case for funding, only to be knocked back by a ten line letter lacking all humanity.
“Age Sector Platform is good for older people and good for government. They help deliver the Active Ageing Strategy and are perfectly positioned to help make the draft Programme for Government a positive reality, but all that is in danger for the sake of a little imaginative thinking.
“I call on the other main political parties to make clear their support for the reversal of this decision, so that Age Sector Platform and their Pensioners’ Parliament can continue the good work for which they are rightly commended.”