§ Mr. Carter-Jones
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when he expects to publish the discussion document on the elderly; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Ennals
The discussion document "A Happier Old Age" has been published today. It covers a wide variety of issues affecting the quality of life and well-being of elderly people, including preparation for retirement, pension age, incomes in retirement, family and community support, accommodation, and services provided by statutory and voluntary bodies. It raises key issues about the role of the elderly people in our society, the contribution they can make and the help they need from the rest of society.
The document is inteded to provide a basis for general comment and public widespread debate to assist the Government in preparing a White Paper on the elderly which is due to follow in 1979. My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Wales, my right hon. Friend the Minister for Social Security and I, together with our colleagues in the other Government Departments involved, would like to receive comments before the end of October 1978. The document is being given wide circulation. I am sending copies to all hon. Members, and a copy has been placed in the Library.
The Government are anxious to have the views of elderly people themselves. Health and local authorities have therefore been asked to consider making copies available in day centres, residential homes and hospitals.