Leo Varadkar’s government pretends that it wants to protect older people – but the facts tell a different story.
Pensions: The Budget gives a small increase of €5 a week on pensions. But this will be wiped out by increases in car insurances, rent and a €8.73 levy a month on electricity bills.
Women who left work to look after children are penalised. Some are losing €35 a week on their contributory old age pension.
Even the Finance Minister, Pascal Donoghue thinks its ‘bonkers’ – but he still wants to discriminate.
There is no longer a Transition Year pension which was paid between the age of 65 and 66. After nine months, people must now go through the indignity of applying for a Job Seekers Allowance.
Health and Prescription Charges: Waiting lists for getting into hospitals are getting longer. There are over 5,000 people looking for home care packages.
But this government will not solve the health crisis.
They boast that they have cut prescription charges to €2. But in 2008, there were NO prescription charges for those on a medical card. We are still paying €1.50 more for prescriptions than we were in 2009.
Telephone Allowance: This budget gave a miserly €2.50 a week for landlines and mobile phones. But in 2008, the telephone allowance was €25.90 a month. If there is an economic recovery, why are old people not being looked after?
Bereavement Grant: Leo Varadkar promised to restore a grant that gave €850 towards the cost of funerals. It was another broken promise.
People Before Profit wants a country that respects older people.
- A National Health Service that treats people according to their medical needs – not the size of their wallet.
- To restore ALL the allowances that older people got before the crash. We will tax the rich to make sure there is enough money.