In the run-up to Budget 2011 the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament today ramped up its campaign to “Protect Older People”. The cold snowy weather and Budget 2011 both present special challenges to Older People. The weather threatens hypothermia, isolation and broken bones. The Budget threatens cutbacks and tax increases. Both events threaten service reductions. It is vital that Older People be protected from the worst of the ravages arising from both the weather and the Budget.
Máiréad Hayes, CEO of the Parliament outlined the six planks underpinning the campaign:
- Protect the State Pension
- Protect Income
- Protect Health Services
- Protect against Fuel Poverty
- Protect Transport Services
- Protect Older People at Home
Older People need protection from the current adverse conditions. We would support the good work of our member organisations and continue to ask people to visit their older neighbours and assist with their heating, shopping and transport needs. If people can help Older People by cleaning a path or giving them a lift or getting in some food & fuel, we can regain the community spirit for which the Irish are famed. Older People make up a substantial number of the 2000 winter related deaths and need to be protected.
Older People of course need protection in the Budget. Our reading of the ‘4 Year Recovery Plan’ and the leaks indicate potential devastation for Older People,” she continued. “We are also calling for an extra week’s fuel allowance to help compensate for the freezing conditions.
Those who live alone have extra needs