Decent pension for senior citizens must be delivered in this budget
Sinn Féin Social Welfare spokesperson Seán Crowe TD has welcomed indications from the government this morning that next week's budget is to include a significant increase in the state pension. "However", said Deputy Crowe, "everybody deserves a fair and decent standard of living and a lot more could be done by this government."
He said, "Pension rates, as they currently stand, are completely insufficient to ensure that older people have an adequate income to live on. Because of this older people continue to live in poverty and deprivation and many are forced to cut back on essentials such as food and heat.
"Reports today that the government are to include a significant increase in the state pension in next week's budget are a welcome development. However, everybody deserves a fair and decent standard of living and a lot more could be done by this government at this, a time of unprecedented wealth in our economy. Not only does the pension need to be significantly increased but more needs to be done in respect of the fuel allowance, the living alone allowance and the meals on wheels service.
"Sinn Féin is proposing that the state pension be increased by €34.80 per week. We are proposing that the living alone allowance be doubled to €15.40 per week, an increase in the fuel allowance to €25 per week and an extension of that allowance to from 29 weeks to 34 weeks from the beginning of September to the end of April. Along with this we are proposing the establishment of state-wide standards for the meals on wheels service as the current service does not cover all older people in need and its standard varies from area to area." ENDS