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Hands Off Our Travel Passes

Hands Off Our Travel Passes

Age Action launched its Hands Off Our Travel Passes campaign on June 25, 2014, and ended the campaign on July 14, 2014.

The campaign was run amid concerns that a major review of the travel pass scheme, which had been on-going since 2012, was due to report.  Its terms of reference may have resulted in negative changes to this important support for older people. 

The decision to wind down the campaign was taken following the publication on July 11 of the Government's statement of priorities for 2014-16.  It included the commitment by the Government to the "full retention" of the travel pass scheme.

For more details of the campaign read on below.

Older People | Travel Passes | Ireland | Age Action

The travel passes which older people are entitled to in the Republic of Ireland are a highly valued and important support.  They enable older people to live with dignity and independence.  We vigorously oppose plans to negatively alter the scheme. 

The Government is currently reviewing the travel pass scheme and a decision is expected in the near future.  It is considering one of three changes:

  • To introduce an annual charge for the travel pass
  • To limit the times at which it can be used
  • To restrict the forms of transport on which it can be used

We have surveyed 500 of our members across Ireland who have told us how important their travel passes are for carrying out everyday tasks such as getting their shopping, collecting their pensions, attending medical appointments, visiting family and friends, social activities.

Significantly, without their travel passes they said they would not be able to attend medical/health appointments (57%), shop (55%), carry out personal journeys (eg to the bank or post office, 43%) or visit family or friends (61%).

Click here for further survey findings and for a more detailed briefing document about the travel pass scheme.

How you can help?

This campaign aims to rally political support to protect  the travel pass scheme.  We need your help to get the support of our 166 TDs.  We are asking every TD, Senator and councillor to confirm their support to protect the travel pass scheme from any negative changes.  They can confirm their support in two ways:

Email handsoff@ageaction.ie , stating their name and constituency;

Each week we will provide an updated list of who is supporting the campaign.

IF YOUR TD, SENATOR OR COUNCILLOR IS NOT ON THAT LIST, ASK THEM WHY!

You can also spread the word about the campaign by downloading, printing and distributing the campaign poster.

You can also follow and support this campaign on our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

We need YOUR support to protect the travel pass for older people. Thanks!

For further queries please email handsoff@ageaction.ie

 

Age Action Calls for €9 per week Rise In Old Age Pension in Budget 2020

Organisation also proposes that Government commission research on the Cost of Ageing to ensure policy meets needs of ageing population

Age Action, the advocacy organisation for older people, has called for the state’s Old Age Pension to increase by €9 per week in Budget 2020. The call was made at today’s Pre-Budget Forum, which is being organised by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection and is being held in Dublin Castle’s Conference Centre.

Celine Clarke, Age Action’s Head of Advocacy and Communications, said that a €9 increase in the weekly Old Age Pension would be a key step in building towards the Government’s own commitment that the pension should be set at 35% of average weekly earnings.

“The National Pensions Framework was published almost 10 years ago and it committed the Government to benchmarking the Old Age Pension at 35% of average weekly earnings. In order to move the current pension payment towards the delivery of that target, we are calling on the Government to increase the weekly pension payment by €9,” Celine Clarke said.

Ms Clarke provided additional context to Age Action’s call for a €9 per week pension rise, when she explained that in 2009, the weekly income for pensioners depending on the State – when all the benefits were added together – was €265.44, this year it’s €273.63 – only €7.89 higher than it was higher than it was 10 years ago. 

“While pensions have increased by a welcome €5 per week over the last few years, there is no clear and transparent formula informing these increases, and Ireland is also unusual in setting the pension rate in the budget every year. Age Action is urging the Government to consider applying a triple lock formula for pension increases – namely, guaranteeing that the basic State pension will rise by a minimum of either 2.5%, the rate of inflation or average earnings growth, whichever is the larger.”

In addition to the proposals on pension increases, Age Action is also calling for:

  • The commissioning of research by Government on the Cost of Ageing to inform the development of policy so that the country can meet the needs of our ageing population – a similar exercise has been carried out in relation to the Cost of Disability;
  • Increase the income threshold for all means-tested benefits in line with increases to the Old Age Pension and secondary benefits;
  • Increase the Living Alone Allowance by €5 per week;
  • Increase the Fuel Allowance rate by €2.35 and reintroduce a 32-week payment period.

Pre-Budget Submission to Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

ENDS

You might be due a tax refund

 

 

Revenue wants to make sure that everyone knows about the tax credits, reliefs and exemptions they are entitled to. Revenue wrote to some people recently telling them that they might be entitled to a tax refund going back as far as 2014.
If you think that you might also be due a tax refund for the year 2014, you need to submit a claim to Revenue before midnight on 31 December 2018. If you don’t want to miss out, submit your claim to Revenue before then.