Govt and GSD dispute over senior citizens' concerns
The GSD has called on the Gibraltar Government to deal with issues affecting the elderly after the Gibraltar Senior Citizens’ Association discontinued their newsletter out of frustration.
But in response the Government said these concerns should not be taken advantage of by political parties and politicised.
For years the Association had been producing a monthly newsletter but decided to stop doing so when they felt little progress was being made.
The party said it was concerned over the points raised by the Association, particularly their statement that they have unable to convince Government of the needs of Senior Citizens.
The GSD added it was also concerned by the Association’s reports of the frustrations they have encountered in dealing with several Ministers.
"For an association to have been unable to make any progress during the last seven years in getting Government to deal with issues that would assist our senior citizens in their everyday lives is very frustrating to say the least,” the GSD said.
“Has there even been an effort by Government to attempt to provide topping points for mobility scooters which would make a huge difference to those who need these in order to lead a normal and independent life as far as possible?”
“For Senior Citizens who wish to pay their bills in as timely a manner as possible and in person the location of the housing rent payment counter at New Harbours has added greater hardship upon our seniors.”
“The same point is highlighted in the Newsletter in respect of our seniors who need to collect special wear if they are suffering from incontinence. How is it possible that a Government offers no alternatives for our much-loved senior citizens?”
In a press statement issued by No.6 Convent Place, the Government said the GSD was jumping on the bandwagon and this approach sadly does not serve to identify solutions to the concerns raised.
“The Government fully respect and recognise the hard work done by the Chairman and Committee Members of the Association,” the statement said.
“In many years of dealing with them, a number of different Ministers have managed to address and resolve innumerable concerns that they have raised across many different areas of public administration.”
“This has included the provision of housing specifically for the elderly at Charles Bruzon House and Seamaster Lodge, as well as further housing designated for senior citizens in the new developments that are already in the pipeline.”
The Government said that sometimes it is not physically possible for any Government to address every single issue that is raised by every single association in every single area.
It added there are sometimes logistical or technical reasons for this.
“The Government will continue to engage with the representatives of our senior citizens as a matter of priority in order to ensure the prompt resolution of those matters that can be dealt with quickly and effectively,” the statement said.
“In the meantime, it does not say much of those members of the Opposition who only want to make another political football of this matter.”
The GSD thanked the chairman and committee of the Gibraltar Senior Citizens’ Association for all their hard work for the benefit of their members.
The party also pledged that, in Government, it would work closely with the Association to address the concerns of senior citizens.