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Pension increase welcomed but promise must be kept in full

Published 09/03/2017

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Age Action has welcomed the €5 increase in the top rate of the Contributory State Pension that will take effect tomorrow.

But the organisation warned that the increase, which brings the top weekly rate to €238.80, is just the first step in restoring the incomes of pensioners.

The National Pensions Framework sets a target for the top rate of the State Pension of 35 per cent of average weekly earnings, which would be around €250.

Even after tomorrow’s increase more investment in the State Pension will be needed in this year’s budget to move us towards achieving that goal. 

Age Action members at an election event in 2016 where they called for an increase in the State Pension.
Age Action members at an election event in 2016 where they called for an increase in the State Pension.

Largest increase in some years

Justin Moran, Head of Advocacy and Communications, said: “Before last year’s election pensioners were promised the State Pension would be increased by €25 over the following five years.

“We welcome the €5 increase, the largest in some time, that will come into effect tomorrow as the first step in delivering on that commitment to Ireland’s more than 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.”

Delayed payment

Age Action acknowledged there was some disappointment among older people that the increase was delayed to the middle of March.

Justin Moran continued: “Delaying the increase to the middle of March frustrated many older people who would otherwise have had an additional €40 to help with fuel costs during some of the coldest months of the year.” 

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A Fair Society for All? Listening to the Voices of Older People

Often, inequalities experienced by older people reflect an accumulated disadvantage which can be as a result of factors such as socio-economic status, health, gender, location. How existing inequalities impact on us as we age is something we in Age Action explored through a panel discussion 10 September – A Fair Society For All? Listening to the Voice of Older People – in Croke Park, on the occasion of the Annual General Meeting 2019.

An audience of over 160 people, including members of Age Action and people working in the ageing sector, joined the conversatoin which included a panel disucssion moderated by the CEO Paddy Connolly. The discussion centred on a discussion paper, Equality for All - Older People for Equality, published by Age Action in advance.The  panel set the scene with inputs from Michael Taft, Economist and political economy columnist, Colette Bennett, Policy Analyst Social Justice Ireland, Deirdre Garvey, CEO The Wheel, Ailbhe Smith, Co-Director of Together for Yes.