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Age Action welcomes removal of pension age increase in Social Welfare Bill as part of the STOP67 Coalition

(9 December 2020) The STOP67 campaign has welcomed the removal of the pension age increase to 67 years on 1st January next in the Social Welfare Bill which will be debated in the Dáil today (9th December, 2020). 

The campaign, which helped to make the pension age increase a controversial and dominant issue during the general election in February 2020, includes the National Women’s Council (NWC), Age Action, Active Retirement Ireland and SIPTU. 

HSE and Age Action launch older-age friendly guide to COVID Tracker App

Today, Tuesday, 8th December 2020, the HSE and Age Action Ireland are launching an older-age friendly guide – How to Use the COVID Tracker App. The guide is part of Age Action Ireland’s Getting Started KIT which supports learning and the use of technology and digital services.

Age Action Ireland worked with the HSE to develop this resource specifically for older people who need some help with online activities so they can use the App as part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

STOP67 calls for inclusion of advocates for women and older people on Pensions Commission

(13 November) The STOP67 Coalition has expressed its disappointment at the failure of the Government to appoint sufficient members to the Pensions Commission who reflect the interests of those most affected by the proposed pension age increase and, in particular, organisations representing women and older people. The Coalition includes the National Women’s Council (NWC), SIPTU, Age Action and Active Retirement Ireland.

In a letter to An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, the Coalition said it was “shocked and surprised” that the Commission does not include the representatives of so many of those directly affected by the proposed pension age increase. This followed the announcement by the Government of the members of the Commission, which is due to assess whether the pension age should be increased to 67 years and to set out a future plan for the pension system.

PAW Raffle Winners

Thank you all for your patience during the last number of weeks and for your understanding that due to the COVID-19 crisis we were not in a position to hold the Positive Ageing Week Raffle. Today, we were finally able to do the draw and we list below the lucky winners.

We wish the winners well and trust they will have a happy time spending their winnings. It certainly brightened up their day when we told them earlier. Thanks again to all those who entered as all proceeds from the raffle will help us to continue to provide much needed services to older people over the coming months.

Keep safe and well.

1st Prize - €1500 -  V. McGowne.  Dublin.

2nd Prize - €1000 – A. Smyth.  Dublin.

3rd Prize - €500 – B. O’Brien.  Cork.

Sellers Prize - €100 – M. Moran.  Kerry.

AGE ACTION CRITICISES GOVERNMENT FOR FAILURE TO PROTECT OLDER PEOPLE WITH BUDGET 2021

(13 October 2020) 

AGE ACTION CRITICISES GOVERNMENT FOR FAILURE TO PROTECT OLDER PEOPLE WITH BUDGET 2021

Just Transition undermined with lack of financial support for majority of older people to deal with Carbon Tax

Age Action has said that the Government’s Budget 2021 choices did not include measures to protect the majority of older people on a fixed income from the rising cost of energy.

ALLIANCE OF TRADE UNIONS, POLITICAL PARTIES, HOUSING BODIES AND CIVIL SOCIETY GROUPS ISSUE JOINT CALL FOR ‘DECISIVE BREAK WITH FAILED HOUSING POLICIES OF PAST’ IN BUDGET 2021

(11 October 2020)  State must intervene directly in ‘dysfunctional housing market’, says letter to Housing Minister

Age Action joined with trade unions, housing bodies, political parties, women’s organisations, students' unions and civil society groups to jointly call on Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien to ensure Budget 2021 makes “a clear and decisive break” with the failed policies of the past and for the State to “intervene directly in our dysfunctional housing market.”

The joint call is made in a letter to Minister O’Brien from the Raise the Roof housing campaign ahead of Budget day, on October 13: 

Age Action Calls on the Minister for Health to urgently establish a Commission on Care Many questions remain unanswered for families of those who have died

Age Action has described the report of the COVID-19 Nursing Homes Expert Panel published today as underwhelming in its reforming zeal and has called on the Minister for Health to urgently establish a Commission on Care.  

 

Age Action is calling for a Digital Allowance to support the Digital Inclusion of Older People and a Study on the Cost of Ageing in Budget 2021

(30 July 2020) 

Age Action, Ireland’s leading advocacy organisation on ageing and older people is calling for Budget 2021 to include a digital allowance in the form of a €2.50 increase to the Telephone Support Allowance and a broadening of the eligibility criteria to support older people to access digital technology.

Paddy Connolly, CEO Age Action said ‘Digital exclusion is a reality for at least 33% of people over the age of 65 with the associated cost being one of the barriers to access for older people. We know that communication costs have increased during COVID-19 as people became more reliant on digital communications as a means of communicating with family, health professionals, arranging essential services and addressing social isolation.  In the context of an increasing reliance on telehealth measures and public health advice, Age Action urges the Government to increase the Telephone Support Allowance, introduced in June 2018 at a weekly rate of €2.50, to €5 and for a broadening of the eligibility criteria which is narrowly confined to those getting the Living Alone Allowance who are also eligible for the Fuel Allowance.’

Government services now actively prefer transactions to be digital under a “Digital First”approach, encouraging people to carry out their tax returns, and apply to r enew their driving licences and passports online. The Public Service ICT Strategy prioritises the digitisation of ‘the main existing citizen and business transactional services across Public Services’. There is an increasing reliance on digital channels to provide information by both the public and private sector which undermines people’s ability to access information which was very evident during the height of the pandemic. In a recent CSO survey of households of those over 60 and not online, the second greatest challenge to people who said they needed access to broadband, after lack of digital skills, was the perceived prohibitive cost.

‘Older people are being left behind because they do not have adequate access or skills to engage with digital services or participate in the digital economy; providing a digital allowance as well as investing in one-to-one digital literacy training that meets the needs of older people, is critical to bridging the digital divide. The new National Digital Skills Strategy committed to under the Programme for Government will have budgetary implications; Budget 2021 should begin to support older people to keep up’ Connolly said.

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