General Association of Elderly People

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Armoede . . . Kamerzetel 151 . . . Klokkenluiders <====> SDN . . . AOV

Martin Batenburg at Eindhoven, a pensioner in the seventies

ABOUT THE AOV (Algemeen Ouderen Verbond)

The party AOV (Senior Party) was founded in December 1993, by Martin Batenburg at Eindhoven, a pensioner who was in his seventies then. He was irritated, as so many elderly people with him, about the constantly economising government, especially in the field of healthcare, which affects older people most. The government was also considering cutting the old-age pensions, as the population is growing older and less and less people will have to pay for this provision.

This achievement of only 40 years, that most pensioners have been paying for all their working lives, was about to perish at a moment when they were finally entitled to collect it themselves. That is why many older people welcomed the idea of a party that would take special care of their increasingly worrying situation.

When Mr. Batenburg founded this AOV (General Elderly Party) with other enthusiastic older people and participated in the municipal elections, they won 5 seats in the City council of Eindhoven. In 1994 they took part in the general elections for Parliament, and took everyone by surprise by winning 6 seats. Another new party for the elderly, the Unie 55+, also won a seat.

There are 12 political parties in the Netherlands and in one general election only, the AOV became the fifth party! About 327.000 people voted for the AOV. The AOV intends to be a complete political party that takes care of every subject. But there are of course subjects that need special attention, as most other parties neglect the elderly, still not realising fully that 13% of Dutch population is 65 years old and over and that this number will only be increasing in the years to come.(in 2015 the Dutch population of 65 years old and over will be 17%)

The subjects the AOV gives special attention to are:

  1. The AOW: the old-age pension.

  2. The efforts of the AOW has led to the founding of a special Fund, in which money will be deposited to pay the old-age pensions in years to come.

  3. Healthcare. Cuttings in the allowances of hospitals, nursing- homes and old people's homes as well as the costs of care for the aged are being watched and weighed carefully.

  4. Housing. The cost of living is rising all the time. The AOV wants to freeze the costs of rent. Older people with a pension often cannot afford to stay in their house as the rents go up all the time.

  5. Traffic, transport and public transport. The safety in the streets (pedestrians), more and cheaper means of public transport.

  6. Jobs, permanent education and training. Helping people to get and to keep a job.

  7. Defence: the after-care for Veterans, who have been

  8. fighting in past wars, including the Second World War and United Nations actions.

The AOV has been through rough times in 1995, when differences of opinion emerged between several members of the party, and only two members of the original group kept their seats. The other four members remained in Parliament, but took another name. They are still taking care of the interests of the aged.

Since September 1996 the AOV works in close cooperation with Unie 55+. They will enter the elections for Parliament 1998 together and participate as one party.