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AGE ACTION CRITICISES GOVERNMENT FOR FAILURE TO PROTECT OLDER PEOPLE WITH BUDGET 2021

Published 13/10/2020

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(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.’

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STOP67 calls for inclusion of advocates for women and older people on Pensions Commission

(13 November) The STOP67 Coalition has expressed its disappointment at the failure of the Government to appoint sufficient members to the Pensions Commission who reflect the interests of those most affected by the proposed pension age increase and, in particular, organisations representing women and older people. The Coalition includes the National Women’s Council (NWC), SIPTU, Age Action and Active Retirement Ireland.

In a letter to An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, the Coalition said it was “shocked and surprised” that the Commission does not include the representatives of so many of those directly affected by the proposed pension age increase. This followed the announcement by the Government of the members of the Commission, which is due to assess whether the pension age should be increased to 67 years and to set out a future plan for the pension system.