(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.
While an increase in the Fuel Allowance of €3.50 was announced to balance the impact of the Carbon Tax it will not benefit the majority of people in receipt of the pension, 11.4% of whom were at risk of poverty in 2018.
Paddy Connolly, CEO of Age Action said ‘The increase in the Fuel Allowance is welcome for those who receive it, but it is not a solution for approximately 70% of pensioners who are not eligible for it. Over 500,000 people are in receipt of the State pension but only 175,000 of them get the Fuel Allowance. That group of people have been placed in a vulnerable situation as they will bear the cost of the carbon tax from their income which has not seen an increase in two successive Budgets. This measure is a real undermining of climate justice, the Government’s commitment to a Just Transition and does nothing to help individual support for climate action. An urgent review of the eligibility criteria for the Fuel Allowance scheme is needed to assess whether it is sufficiently meeting need.’