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Thursday, 14 September, 2000, 11:46 GMT 12:46 UK
Pensioner power takes to the streets
Elderly care
The "grey" vote wants to be heard
More than 200 pensioners have marched through Edinburgh calling for more money to pay for the long-term care of the elderly.

The demonstrators are meeting the Deputy Health Minister Iain Gray to voice their opposition to charges for certain types of health care on age grounds.

They have received a letter of support from Sir Stewart Sutherland, who chaired the Royal Commission into long-term care, and recommended that all nursing and personal care should be provided free to the elderly.

The Scottish Executive is due to announce its response to the recommendations next month.

The marchers' main demand is for ministers to adopt Sir Stewart's recommendations, funded by a 0.4% tax rise.

Help the Aged has said that vulnerable old people are struggling to pay for care at home and those needing residential care are often forced to sell their homes to pay the bills.

It said executive had the opportunity to be "innovative in its treatment of Scotland's pensioners" when it announces its own proposals.

The protest was organised by the Confederation of Scotland's Elderly, founded earlier this year so that pensioner groups across the country could speak with a united voice.

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See also:

27 Jul 00 | Scotland
'Better elderly care' plea
29 Sep 99 | Scotland
Elderly people 'short changed'
15 Jul 99 | Health
'Free care' for elderly proposed
15 Jul 99 | Your NHS
What is long-term care?
28 Feb 99 | Your NHS
Funding the old age boom
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