The pensions minister Steve Webb has told people at the Pensioners Parliament in Blackpool that the government is working to change attitudes in society towards older people.
Addressing delegates at the conference, he said that the coalition is working with charity Age UK to create a new alliance that will look at how to improve society's perceptions of older people.
Although they are sometimes seen as a burden, older people contribute as much as £40 billion a year through caring and voluntary work.
Mr Webb said: "We believe older people are an asset to our society and should be valued."
He also spoke about the winter fuel allowance and argued that keeping the £25 cold weather payments for the poorest pensioners leaves them better off if bad weather lasts for a significant amount of time than they would be with a higher fuel allowance.
The MP said that current pension arrangements treat women "very unfairly", adding that he wants to see a bigger state pension and less use of means testing, something that will be accomplished by plans to introduce a state pension of £140 a week.
He moved to reassure the audience that people currently getting more than that amount would not have their state pensions reduced.
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