Sinn Féin seek a fairer Ireland for older people – Brady
Speaking today at the launch of Sinn Féin’s Budget 2017 proposals on Older People, Sinn Féin’s Spokesperson on Social Protection John Brady TD said that “everyone has the right to grow old in Ireland with dignity, security and equality”.
The Wicklow/East Carlow TD said:
“The reality for many of our older citizens under Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil is that they now face additional taxes and charges, they can no longer rely on the health service and they have to struggle daily to heat homes and meet their bills.
“Our proposals launched today provide a Budget for older people worth over €410 million. Our Budget is about fairness and reducing the cost of living for older people. We also include our commitment to abolish water charges and the property tax – putting money back in older people’s pockets.
“Under our proposals, pensioners living alone will see their pension increase by €5.70 per week; this means an increase for 190,000 older people. All other pensioners will see their pension inflation proofed and increased by €3.50.
“Sinn Féin wants an end to prescription charges and will begin by phasing it out by €1 in this Budget.
“Other measures include:
· Reinstate the State Pension (Transition) Payment
· Increase the Fuel Allowance by 3 Weeks
· Introduce a Bereavement Grant of €600
· Extend the Warmer Homes Scheme
· Increase home help hours by 10%
· Increase homecare packages by 10%
“It is absolutely unacceptable that those obliged to retire at 65 years of age are being forced onto Jobseekers payments and cannot access their pension for a year. There are currently more people aged 65 than any other age group in receipt of Jobseekers. We will re-introduce the Transitional Payment immediately impacting on 33,000 pensioners giving them an additional €45 per week or €2,340 per year.
“Sinn Féin’s proposals target a range of issues faced by older people. These proposals seek to create a fairer Ireland for our older people where they are able to live independently, have access to their pension on retirement and are protected from unfair taxes and charges.”