Age Action has called on Eircom to reverse its plans to set a €20 minimum payment for bills paid through post offices.
The new charge, which is due to commence in the coming weeks, will make it more difficult for older people to ensure that their phone bills are promptly paid, the older people’s charity warned.
“This levy coupled with the imposition of the Carbon Tax on domestic fuel will force many older people into fuel poverty. We in Ireland have an annual increase in winter deaths of approximately 2,000, while 10% of older people are at risk of poverty. Because of increased levels of physical dependency many older people spend more time in their homes. Older people because they are more fuel dependent than other groups in society spend a high proportion of their income on fuel and energy. So any increase in either domestic heating fuel or
"The cuts in community services suggested by the Mott McDonald Consultancy Report would seriously compromise the care of many older people. By providing comprehensive and effective community care the government could free up many acute hospital beds. 95% of older people could be cared for in the community. The government must continue to invest in community care and avoid the temptation to seek short term savings." Gerard Scully a spokesperson for Age Action said.