Disappointing budget for Older People - Denise Mitchell TD
Sinn Féin Junior Social Protection spokesperson Denise Mitchell TD has said the budget has been disappointing for older people.
Speaking this evening the Dublin Bay North TD said;
“The flat rate increase in the pension can be swiftly overtaken by other rising expenses that older people will face and so must be placed into this context. What is not seen in this budget is any rise in other payments which the Fine Gael / Fianna Fáil Government have left stagnant.
“However in the Sinn Féin alternative Budget 2017 document, we have proposed an overall broader package for older people rather than merely concentrating on the basic payment.
“Our proposals include a rise in the basic payment alongside a rise in the living alone allowance, and an increase in the fuel allowance payment by three weeks. Sinn Féin further sought the reinstatement of the bereavement grant, as well as the restoration of State Pension Bands to Pre-September 2012 position and reinstate the State Pension (Transition).
“Sinn Féin proposals on the fuel allowance would see a rise in payment of €67.50 with an increase of three weeks payment. This is to attempt to combat the very real concern of fuel poverty which is a realistic situation for many people.
“St Vincent de Paul has paid out some €8.8 million toward fuel costs in 2014 which demonstrates the extent to which people find themselves in winter months. In Ireland we have one of the highest electricity prices in the EU. Competition alone will not protect the vulnerable. The overall financial difficulties been faced by seniors must be considered.”