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Age Action Calls for €23 Increase in the State Pension

Published 27/07/2022


(Tuesday 26 July 2022) 

Budget 2023 – No Ordinary Budget for Extraordinary Times

Age Action Calls for €23 Increase in the State Pension

Age Action, Ireland’s leading advocacy organisation on ageing and older persons, is calling for a €23 increase in the State Pension saying that Budget 2023 cannot be an ordinary budget. Age Action argues that Budget 2023 needs to deliver an evidence-based increase in the State Pension that is poverty-proofed and equality-proofed – a €23 increase in the State Pension is the minimum amount required to maintain the State Pension’s spending power. The reality of high price inflation is that the full rate contributory State Pension will lose €22.80 in spending power in 2022 and will further lose spending power in 2023 as inflation will still be high.

Speaking in advance of the Pre-Budget Forum, scheduled for Wednesday 27 July, Age Action’s policy specialist Dr Nat O’Connor said that “People living on the State Pension have seen their spending power go down every month since January, meaning people taking items out of their shopping baskets and turning off the heating at home to make ends meet. By December, the State Pension will have lost €22.80 in spending power. That is why Age Action is calling for a €23 increase in the maximum rate of the State Pension, which will just mean people standing still in terms of their spending power. If the maximum rate of the contributory State Pension is not raised by €23, any lower increase will be a cut in real terms.”

“It is important to remember that inflation in the economy not only drives up prices, but it also increases the taxes that are collected. Taxes are already €7.4 billion higher by June 2022 compared to the previous year. The Government will have plenty of additional tax revenue available to increase core social protection rates in Budget 2023. Increasing the State Pension by €23 is not only fair but it is affordable. Inflation-matching increases should happen automatically based on benchmarking and indexation of the State Pension, as they do in the UK and other countries” said Dr O’Connor.

“Raising pension rates so spending power remains the same will not drive further inflation. It is clear that any Government decision to raise social welfare incomes by less than the rate of inflation will be a political choice, not an economic necessity” Dr O’Connor concluded.



Age Action’s Budget 2023 headline asks from the Department of Social Protection include:

  1. Increase the full rate of the contributory State Pension by €23 and the full rate of the non-contributory State Pension by €22. Increase the full rate Qualified Adult rate by €15 and the Living Alone increase by €15.
  2. Commission a comprehensive analysis of the costs associated with ageing, and the cost of living for all older people.
  3. Expand all eligibility thresholds across all departments and agencies in line with any changes to the State Pension and other cash payments.
  4. Expand the means test for the non-contributory State Pension and other means-tested welfare payments and income supplements to compensate for inflation.
  5. Introduce an Energy Guarantee for Older Persons by reforming the Fuel Allowance.
  6. Increase the rate of the Benefit Payment for 65-Year-Olds to the same rate as the State Pension, with access to the same range of income supplements and supports.
  7. Budget 2023 should fund social insurance pension statements to be posted to all adults, spelling out their likely retirement income from the State Pension and encouraging them to save for retirement.
  8. Raise awareness of the Household Benefits Package and the new Additional Needs Payment among older persons.
  9. Budget 2023 should provide a stronger mechanism to enhance the pension eligibility of people, especially women, who have spent years providing care, with an allocation of €3 million in annual funding towards a dedicated Carer’s Pension for long-term family carers.
  10. Free Travel should be maintained and expansion should be considered.
  11. Create a Digital Allowance to support people on low incomes with the cost of digital devices and internet access.


Age Action Awarded Investing In Volunteers National Quality Standard

Age Action is delighted to announce that we have been awarded the Investing in Volunteers quality standard. Investing in Volunteers (IiV) is the national quality standard for good practice in volunteer management in Ireland.

The Investing in Volunteers standard assesses the organisation’s volunteering programme in six areas: vision for volunteering, planning for volunteers, volunteer inclusion, recruiting and welcoming volunteers, supporting volunteers, and valuing and developing volunteers. As part of the process, we completed a self-assessment of our volunteering programme, and with the assistance of an Investing in Volunteers mentor, we then put together an improvement plan. Over the course of the assessment forty of our volunteers were interviewed as well as staff and board members.

Every year, hundreds of people volunteer with Age Action in our Getting Started digital literacy programme, and with our Care and Repair DIY Service. We would like to thank all of our wonderful volunteers who bring their time, energy and skills to Age Action and are the reason that our volunteering programme is so impactful. Volunteers are at the heart of our programmes and services at Age Action and without our volunteers we couldn’t fulfil our mission to support older people to live full and independent lives. Achieving the Investing in Volunteers quality standard shows our commitment to providing an experience that reflects how much we value our volunteers.

Here’s what some of our Volunteers said as part of the process:

‘I’ve gained a lot of skills from volunteering.  It has built my confidence in teamworking and communication.’

‘It keeps me active being able to help people and improve their quality of life’. 

‘I think they’ve got it just right with the amount of information to keep you in touch.  The monthly newsletter let’s you see what’s going on”.

“Emails keep you informed.  They are very willing to take suggestions on board, they encourage you to give them feedback’.

Going through the Investing in Volunteers process has helped us to review and improve our volunteering programme in its entirety, from how we recruit, train and support volunteers, to how we communicate with and involve our volunteers at all levels of the organisation. As we celebrate achieving the standard, we reiterate our commitment to providing the best possible volunteering experience for our volunteers who make an incredible difference in the lives of those older people we serve.