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Where Has The Government Commitment To A National Positive Ageing Strategy Gone

The Irish Senior Citizens Parliament poses the question

Where has the Coalition’s National Positive Ageing Strategy Gone?

Speaking today in Dublin, Mairead Hayes CEO of the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament asked

Where have the promises and the actions to underpin this government’s National Positive Ageing Strategy gone?

Remember the slogan in April 2013 at the launch.

POSITIVE AGEING STARTS NOW

Continuing she said

We in the ISCP embraced the fact that the strategy was aimed not just at older people but at how we care for all the people across the lifecycle.

In Budget 2014 we see no evidence that the government accepts its own strategy. The people who need care and need to be enabled and assisted to care for themselves and others were on the receiving end of the toughest measures in Budget 2014.

Continuing she said

We call on government to re-examine these proposed measures

The sick, the frail, the poor and older people who fit all of these descriptions have had prescription charges increased from €1.50 per item to €2.50 which is a 500% increase since the Minister was appointed. In May 2011 the charge was€0.50 per item and the Minister said he would abolish it. This charge applies to all those who have a medical card.

Government announced they are going to take the Over 70s medical cards from a further 35,000 older people by changes to the eligibility criteria. Last year they took cards from 30,000 older people.

The decision by the Minister for Social Protection to abolish the bereavement grant is a further major blow to older people who have saved for their burials but would have factored in this grant. Death of a loved one is very distressing and for the costs involved we ask the minister to reconsider this measure.

The abolition of the telephone allowance might seem slight in monetary terms however many of the security and monitoring devices which older people have installed  in their homes rely on landlines especially in areas where broad band coverage is poor. Replacements or changes to these systems would be costly and the supply has been affected by severe cuts to the community groups who supply them.

We urge government to reconsider their older, sicker and poorer people of all ages and to reconsider the implementation of these measures.

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