At a meeting today of the Pre- Budget Forum with the Minister for Social Protection, Eamon O Cuiv the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament stressed the importance of maintaining Older People’s purchasing power.
Mairead Hayes CEO stated that while the pension was not reduced in last year’s budget many older people have already seen their income and buying power reduced by a number of decisions made by government including the loss of the additional payment at Christmas, the loss of benefits and the introduction of charges and levies such as the carbon tax, the PSO levy and the prescription charge among others.
The Parliament today called on the Minister to maintain the pension, to increase the Living Alone Allowance and to extend it to low income civil service pensioners. The Parliament also argued that now is the time to increase the Over 80 Age Allowance by €5.
The Irish Senior Citizens Parliament highlighted the essential role played by the Fuel Allowance and urged its extension by one week this year.
Ms. Hayes continued, a previous Minister for Social Welfare, sadly no longer with us, said that,
Measures such as the Age Allowance and Living Alone Allowance together with the Fuel Allowance were introduced in tougher times to help those worse off. We would contend that this is that time and these Older People should be helped now.