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Budget Fever Hits Early

ARE OLDER PEOPLE BEING TARGETED WE ASK

The Minister for Social Protection Éamon Ó Cuív T.D., in response to a question posed to him, responded that

he cannot rule out a Budget Cut to the Older Age Pension (State Pension).

The Irish Senior Citizens Parliament would remind the Minister that over 50% of Older People are dependent on this pension as their sole source of income. The loss of the Special Payment at Christmas was a reduction in the payments for those pensioners during what was one of the harshest winters we have experienced.

In the year to date

  • Dental and Eye Benefit were removed
  • A carbon tax introduced with no alleviation measures to reduce its impact
  • The plan to introduce Water charges accelerated
  • A draft of the prescription charges bill is we understand before cabinet
  • Higher fuel and petrol charges
  • Planned cuts to the Home Help Service
  • Reductions in transport services
  • Cuts to the Health Services

There are still over 17% of Older People who are at risk of poverty and the State Pension as a percentage of average earnings is one of the lowest in the EU.

We are aware that the Budgetary Process has commenced and that many a “kite” will be flown over the coming months.  Last year the process was fuelled by the Commission on Taxation Report and the “Bord Snip Report”, the author of which was quoted in December as saying that he was preparing the ground with his report.

Last year Older People may have been fearful and anxious. However that is not the message we are getting from them this year.

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