Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Sinn Féin working for older people

4 November, 2008 - by Cathal Boylan, Martina Anderson MEP

Sinn Féin MEP, Baibre de Brún and Newry and Armagh Sinn Féin MLAs Mickey Brady, Conor Murphy and Cathal Boylan welcomed the University of the Third Age (U3A) to Stormont on Monday (3rd November). The visit was part of ongoing work between the group and Sinn Féin's spokesperson on older people and welfare rights, Mickey Brady.

The Crossmaglen based group visited Stormont before travelling to the Titanic Quarter and other sites around Belfast.

Commenting after the visit, Mickey Brady MLA said,

"I have met with U3A on a number of occasions to discuss the problems that affect older people in our society and to give advice on welfare rights. Older people are the group in our society which is being hardest hit by the Credit Crunch. In August 2008 the average pensioner inflation reached 7.4%. When you compare this to 5.4% which is the inflation rate for non pensioners there is a significant difference.

"I have also met with a number of groups in Newry and Armagh to discuss the uptake of pension credit. Up to 51% of older people are failing to claim the pension credit that they are entitled to. In fact £1.9 - £2millon every week of pension credit goes unclaimed. This money is returned to the British Exchequer and does not remain in the North of Ireland. I am advising these groups that claiming pension credit is not charity it is the money that have earned by paying tax for years, it is their right."

Tony Kearns from the Crossmaglen University of the Third Age said,

"We all really enjoyed our trip to Stormont, meeting the Sinn Féin MLAs and Bairbre de Brún all of whom were very welcoming of our group.

"Mickey Brady has assured us that he will call out to Crossmaglen again after Christmas which we very much look forward to."

Mickey Brady also reminded everyone of the 'Can't Heat or Eat' Rally at Stormont on 17th November and has asked everyone who can make it to attend.

"The rally has been organised by Age Sector Platform and I would advise everyone to come along and have their voice heard."

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