Imitation by Independent Alliance is the sincerest form of flattery – Brady
Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson for Social Protection John Brady has said that he is flattered to have the Independent Alliance follow in his footsteps in relation to a package for older people in the Budget.
Teachta Brady said:
“This week, as part of Sinn Féin’s alternative Budget, I launched a range of measures targeted at older people, totalling an additional spend of just over €410 million for older people.
“These proposals were not a simple increase in the State Pension to headline grab and nothing else. Instead, Sinn Féin has focused on addressing a wide range of issues facing older people today.
“Year on year in our alternative Budget we include measures aimed at alleviating the hardship felt by the most vulnerable in society including older people.
“We do not believe that any party will match the package we have put together for older people.
“Our proposals include a bereavement grant of €600, an additional three weeks on fuel allowance, reducing the prescription charge by €1 as the first step to abolish it, increasing home help hours and homecare packages by 10%, extending the Warmer Homes Scheme and the Housing Adaptation Grants. We would also increase the Living Alone Allowance by €5.70 per week which would benefit 190,000 pensioners and would allow them to afford a panic alarm in place of the abolished telephone allowance. All other pensioners would see an increase of €3.50; this figure ensures the pension is inflation proofed.
“The Independent Alliance may also consider restoring the Transitional Pension for 65 year olds who are forced onto Jobseekers payments on retirement and cannot access their State Pension until 66 years of age, as included in our package for older people.
“We need to see more than headline grabbers from parties and particularly, from the Government. The Independent Alliance has an opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of older people. I urge them to stand firm on their proposals.”