Spending cuts included in the White House Budget released this week “would drastically slash initiatives that empower older Americans to sustain their health and economic independence,” according to a statement from the National Council on Aging (NCOA).
The organization points to a proposed 45% cut in the Senior Community Service Employment Program, which it says is the only major jobs program targeted toward helping disadvantaged older adults who need to remain in or return to the workforce to avoid financial crisis. The program serves the extremely low income population, and NCOA says the proposed budget cut would lead to the loss of 55,000 part-time jobs, as well as struggle among thousands within the senior demographic who need to remain employed.
“At a time when Democrats and Republicans are both talking about jobs, it just doesn’t make sense to cut the only jobs program for seniors,” said Jim Firman, president and CEO of NCOA. “The unemployment rate just went down in December as 36,000 new jobs were created and now the Administration wants to give them right back.”
Among other points in the budget aimed toward seniors, NCOA expressed disappointment in response to a proposed cut from the the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) budget by almost half, and praise for continued funding for family caregivers under the Older Americans Act.
NCOA is one resource for home equity and reverse mortgage counseling for seniors.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker