Age Action, Ireland’s leading advocacy organisation for older people, has welcomed the increase in the State Pension announced in today’s budget.
Justin Moran said: “Before the General Election pensioners were promised the State Pension would be increased by €25 over the next five years.
“We welcome today’s €5 increase as the first step in delivering on that commitment to Ireland’s half a million pensioners.
“More than 85,000 people over the age of 65 are living in deprivation because of rising costs and cuts to income supports. They need a fair State Pension that will enable older people to live with dignity and independence.”
The organisation expressed its disappointment at the decision to delay the increase.
Justin Moran continued: “While the pension increase is welcome, delaying it to the start of March is going to disappoint many older people who will lose out during some of the coldest months of the year. A two month delay means a loss of €40 to someone struggling to keep their home warm or to pay for medicine.”
Justin Moran continued: “Prescription charges have increased more than 500 per cent since they were introduced. Older people, more likely to have multiple prescriptions, are particularly affected by a tax that targets the poor and the sick.
“The reduction in the cap on the Sick Tax announced today is good news and we hope it is a step towards its eventual abolition, but we would caution that lone pensioners will not benefit greatly as they are unlikely to be paying above the €20 figure.”
Justin Moran continued: "We welcome the increased funding announced in the health budget, particularly the €15 million for the National Treatment Purchase Fund.
“However, we need to see the detail of where the additional resources will go. Our community care system is in crisis. The increase in the health budget must prioritise investment in services that enable older people to stay home. We will examine the detail of the increased health budget when it is announced."
For more information contact Justin Moran on 087 968 2449