Age Action has warned the Government that its plans to increase the rate of Universal Social Charge (USC) for pensioners and medical card holders from 4% to 7% from January would cause untold hardship among a section of society which is already struggling to make ends meet.
Age Action has given a guarded welcome to the Government’s plans for water charges and measures to protect older people, agreed at today’s Cabinet meeting. But it noted that the full impact of the charges on older people will not be known until all details of the tariff package have been decided.
Age Action is concerned that a HIQA report published today shows that HIQA received 4,246 notifications of serious injury to nursing home residents during 2013. In addition there were 373 notifications of alleged, suspected or confirmed abuse.
A doubling of the level of carbon tax on solid fuels from tomorrow (May 1) will create added hardship for older people who are already struggling to heat their homes to a safe level, Age Action has warned.
Age Action is concerned by media reports today that Irish Water is seeking the introduction of a standing charge – higher than the international average – for water services as part of the payment model due to be introduced next year.
Age Action has called on the Minister for Health and the National Treatment Purchase Fund to urgently clarify what cuts are being made to payments to nursing homes under the Nursing Home Support Scheme, and if home owners are being encouraged by Fund officials to pass these cuts on to their nursing home residents.
Age Action has welcomed confirmation by the HSE this evening that nursing home residents and patients of public psychiatric facilities in the Midlands will not be affected by the HSE’s smoke free campus policy which came commenced today.