BBC News: Election 2010 BBC News

Page last updated at 10:59 GMT, Monday, 19 April 2010 11:59 UK

Concerns over elderly population in Norfolk

The question of how to pay for a growing elderly population has been raised by candidates fighting for the seat of North Norfolk in the 2010 general election.

A BBC study at the end of 2008 found that Norfolk has the second highest percentage of people of pensionable age or above in the UK.

More than 23% of people in the county fitted into that category, which place it behind Cornwall.

Liberal Democrat candidate Norman Lamb, elected MP in 2001, told the BBC: "It is so important, the parties have got to work together to find a solution.

"I have been very frustrated that the attempts we have made to get cross-party agreement collapsed in acrimony with the Conservatives' poster about death taxes.

"We must ensure our elderly grow old with dignity. We are letting down a generation of elderly people."

Conservative candidate Trevor Ivory said: "The way we treat our elderly is frankly a disgrace.

"We are looking at respite care... and proper support... and make sure they have more money.

"We have set out an insurance scheme to ensure no-one has to sell their own home [to pay for care]."

Labour candidate Phil Harris said: "The Labour Party has put tried to put forward a national care plan.

"We have the NHS which is one part of a good social society and now we have to put plans [in place] to deal with people coming into retirement and beyond.

He said the Labour Party's care plan would see "that worry that they [elderly people] will have to sell their own homes... taken away from them".

The general election takes place on 6 May.

The candidates for North Norfolk so far announced are: Lib Dem: Norman Lamb; Conservative: Trevor Ivory; Labour: Phillip Alan Harris; Green: Andrew Boswell; UK Independence Party: Michael Baker.

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