Age Action has urged the Government to set aside some of the additional spending promised in the coming budget to reverse the cuts to the incomes of older people imposed since 2009.
The organisation made the call ahead of a pre-Budget forum with the Department of Social Protection in Dublin, due to be hosted by Minister Joan Burton TD and her department’s senior officials.
Justin Moran, Head of Advocacy and Communications at Age Action, said: “Many older people have seen their weekly income cut by almost €14 a week since 2009.
“The majority are trying to get by solely on the State Pension. These last six years of austerity have been tough for older people.”
Health and energy costs have risen steeply in recent years and many older people find themselves forced to choose between paying for medicine or staying warm, while struggling to pay the new charges and taxes introduced since 2011.
Mr Moran continued: “The Government is considering a minimum of €600 million of additional spending according to the Spring Statement in April. Some of this can, and must, be used to reverse the cuts to the weekly income of some of the country’s most vulnerable people.
“Older people spent a lifetime building this country. They shouldered their share of the austerity burden. As the economy returns to growth, they have a legitimate expectation that the sacrifices they made will be acknowledged.”