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Sinn Féin would reverse the harsh cuts facing older people – Mitchell

3 October, 2016 - by Denise Mitchell TD

Sinn Féin TD and Junior Spokesperson for Social Protection Denise Mitchell, speaking after the launch of the Sinn Féin Budget proposal for older people today, said that Sinn Féin ‘are putting forward is a whole package for older people which would address the day to day reality that many older people face’.

The Dublin Bay North TD said:

“What we are putting forward is a whole package for older people. This is about fairness and reducing the cost of living. It is not simply headline grabbing one liner proposals as with Fianna Fáil with their sound bites on a pension increase. Overall, Sinn Féin is offering €410.55 million in various supports for older people. The sum being invested in the protection of older people is very broad, from addressing fuel costs to those pensioners living alone.

“We see that pensioners living alone account for over 40% of all State pension recipients, our proposals will see an increase in their Living Alone allowance. Many older people living alone find it difficult to manage and this rise in payment will have an impact on 190,000 older citizens.

“We have increased the fuel allowance by three weeks which will provide an extra €67.50 to recipients. We constantly hear from constituents that they simply cannot afford to heat their homes. With an estimated 28% of households in Ireland experiencing energy poverty and with the cuts people previously were faced with, this is having a detrimental effect on many people and especially older people.

“We also address other previous cuts that the people were inflicted with by Government. The bereavement grant was perhaps one of the cruellest that was imposed. Sinn Féin has put forward the introduction of the bereavement grant of €600.  This is aimed at helping families when it is most needed at the most difficult of times.

“The multiple proposals we have for the older people in our alternative budget is about addressing the day to day reality that many older people face. This reality is about older people facing additional charges because of the decisions of previous Governments of Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Labour. We aim now to reverse some of the harshest cuts.” 

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