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Age Action welcomes double Fuel Allowance payment

Published 28/02/2018

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Age Action has warmly welcomed the announcement by Minister Regina Doherty TD that there will be a double payment in the Fuel Allowance this week to help pensioners on low incomes heat their homes.

Minister Regina Doherty
Minister Regina Doherty TD

Justin Moran, Head of Advocacy and Communications with Age Action, said: “The decision by Minister Regina Doherty TD to issue a double Fuel Allowance payment will be warmly welcomed by tens of thousands of pensioners on low incomes.

“The most important thing for older people in this weather is to stay as warm as possible. But even at the best of times many are worried about the cost of heating their homes.

“The double payment in the Fuel Allowance will reassure them that they can afford to keep the heat on in a week when they really need it.”

The Fuel Allowance is a means-tested, weekly, payment of €22.50 made to 338,000 households to help them heat their homes during the coldest months.

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Did Budget 2020 Take Steps Towards a Fairer Society for an Ageing Population?

 

The Government's Budget 2020 choices did not include measures to address the inequalities faced by older people living in Ireland who are family members and contributors to our communities. Budget 2020 did not offer the majority of older people the support they need to meet the rising cost of living that is anticipated by the impacts of Brexit and it did not offer a concrete plan to support us to age in place.

 

Equality for older people requires the re-distribution of resources; power and influence; status and standing; and respect.  While the Government has increased some secondary benefits with the view to targeting people in the most vulnerable situations, which is a sensible approach, it has to be acknowledged that if people had adequate income to meet the true cost of ageing, they would be able to have choice over how to spend their money to best meet their specific needs.

The net affect of Budget 2020 on the income of older person headed households is;

  • Those under 80 and living with another person are €1.08 better off per week following Budget 2020 and have seen a weekly increase of €11.68 since 2009

 

  • For those under 80 and living alone, they are €6.08 better off per week following Budget 2020, and have seen a weekly increase of €20.48 on 2009 income

 

  • For those over 80 and living with another person, their weekly income has risen by €1.08 in Budget 2020, and €11.68 since 2009

 

  • For those over 80 and living alone, they are better off by €6.08 per week following Budget 2020, and €20.48 since 2009.

 

Some people who are over 80 are people in the most vulnerable situations in our society with no capacity to increase their income while dealing with the increasing cost of ageing. A person over 80, not living alone, received €1.08 per week to cope with Brexit, the carbon tax increase and the rising cost of living in 2020. It is on the backs of these people that our economy has been built: these are the same women and men who lived through the Marriage Bar, shouldered several recessions and are now dealing with the accumulated disadvantages. In working for equality, it is critical that we focus on equality of outcomes not just equality of opportunity.