Archive for November, 2009

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ISCP sign Memorandum of Understanding

November 24, 2009

The Chairs and CEOs of five of Ireland’s age sector NGOs came together on 2 October 2009 at the offices of The Atlantic Philanthropies in Dublin to sign a Memorandum of Understanding. Atlantic seeks to increase the capacity of key organisations, including those made up of older adults, to advocate to protect government services for older adults.

The five organisations are Active Retirement IrelandAge and OpportunityThe Carers Association, the Irish Senior Citizens’ Parliament and Senior Helpline. The five organisations committed themselves to working together initially on shared premises, collective purchasing and hiring of expertise and a funding initiative.

This  Collaboration Initiative process began in May 2009. The anticipated outcomes by 2012 are:

  • greater cohesion among the five participating organisations, with regular communication and cooperation with other NGOs becoming a core part of each organisation’s “way of working”;
  • shared premises in a number of towns around Ireland with increased visibility of the NGO ageing sector across the country;
  • more professional and formalized organisational supports across all the participating NGOs; and
  • demonstrated cost savings across a range of goods and services.

A formal review of implementation will be carried out and the scope for broadening and deepening the Collaboration Initiative will be explored.

 

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Taoiseach’s understanding of state pension appreciated

November 24, 2009

The Irish Senior Citizens Parliament appreciated Taoiseach Brian Cowen’s understanding of the difficulties facing older people in his statement of November 18 on the importance of the State Pension and the other support schemes for older people such as the travel, TV licence and telephone allowance.

We in particular noted where Taoiseach Cowen stated that “we should also be mindful that there is a large amount of people who don’t have a lot of disposable income … and, therefore, rely solely on the state pension”. He also went on to say that he was “proud of the provision we made for pensioners during the good years. It is not my objective to undo all of that good work now”.

The ISCP were pleased to note An Taoiseach’s assurances that there will be no dismantling of the social infrastructure, including various schemes which are in place to support Older People’s health & welfare, in addition to pensions. “An Taoiseach’s remarks – in particular the further remarks on his webcast – demonstrate an understanding of the various schemes and services, put in place over decades, which protect Older People’s dignity such as the travel and fuel schemes.

Máiréad Hayes, the Parliament’s CEO stated: “We are conscious that we face a difficult situation but it should be appreciated that we in the Parliament hear on a daily basis from Older People living in fear of what is to come.” We will hold An Taoiseach to his promise not to ‘undo the good work’ and to be ‘sensitive to the needs of our pensioners’.

“We would also like to say ‘thank you’ to all our member organisations regarding their lobbying efforts to defend their services & pensions. Keep up the good work in the couple of weeks remaining before Budget 2010”, exhorted Ms. Hayes.

 

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Proposed Medical Card Charges Will Hit The Most Vulnerable!

November 22, 2009

The Irish Senior Citizens Parliament is concerned that the proposed prescription charge will place an increased financial burden on Older People.

Responding to the comments made by Minister for Health Mary Harney, Maíréad Hayes CEO of the Parliament has said that the proposed 50 cent charge per prescribed item could result in a hefty monthly charge for some Older People.

The Minister’s response is not a remedy for the over-prescribing of drugs that can only be resolved by those responsible for writing prescriptions.

We know that one in six medical card holders are prescribed 10 or more drugs, should this charge be introduced many Older People could face an additional charge of €5 or more per month.

Combined with the fact that Older People’s incomes have already been reduced by 2% this year due to the withdrawal of the Christmas Bonus, the Parliament fears that Older People will find it hard to meet these charges, or may be forced to stop taking their medication.

The Parliament would point out that there is a cumulative impact from a number of recent government decisions all of which are increasing the risk of poverty amongst Older People in Ireland.

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Is the “Fair Deal” fair?

November 19, 2009

The Irish Senior Citizens Parliament calls on the Minister for Health & Children, Mary Harney T.D. to immediately clarify the report in today’s Irish Independent regarding the cost to older people for Long Stay Charges in Public Facilities.

We have maintained for some time that the Fair Deal was not fair as basic items which we consider as essential for the care and comfort of Older People are excluded from the Scheme. Of particular concern is the fact that the price negotiated by the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) on behalf of the Minister for Health & Children does not include incontinence pads and normal services such as chiropody, dental treatment, therapies and other items essential for the care and comfort of Older People.

Now we ask the Minister to tell us what the differences are between private and public. Will additional care be provided in public facilities and how is the price justified?

Speaking today Mairead Hayes CEO of the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament said

“Will these charges push Older People and their families into choosing Private rather than Public facilities?”

This scheme was meant to provide people with a choice between public and private facilities, so that they would no longer be pushed in any direction. However given the huge variation in price it now looks like many Older People will not have a choice and will be forced into choosing private facilities.

We must continue the debate on a universal heath care system that would bring equity to all.

 

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ISCP in the Day of Protest 2009

November 19, 2009

ISCP inSpired

The Irish Senior Citizens Parliament took a proud part in Dublin’s Day of Protest (November 6) as part of the “Get Up, Stand Up” campaign.

Many of our volunteers came out to lend their support to the campaign which aims to protect jobs and pensions as well as vulnerable people and vital services.

Flag carriersHere are a few pictures from the March in Dublin.

If you have any comments on the campaign or pictures from the other marches around the country, leave a comment in the box below or e-mail us and we will try to add them to our news here.

Intergenerational Solidarity

Older solidarity

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Budget 2010: ISCP submission

November 9, 2009

The Irish Senior Citizens Parliament has made a very detailed Pre-Budget Submission to Government.

Among the main points which we have stressed are:

  • A commitment to protect the most vulnerable;
  • An increase of €10 in the State Pension for Older People;
  • The reinstatement of the Additional Payment at Christmas for pensioners (Christmas Bonus);
  • Access to services as of right for all Older People and especially access to travel and the entitlement to the Travel Pass to continue to be available for all Older People”.

We are aware that these are difficult times however we should judge society by how it treats society’s most vulnerable. We continue to urge Government to demonstrate its concern by protecting Ireland’s older citizens in Budget 2010.

The quality of Older Peoples’ lives has never been more under threat! A year ago thousands of Older People protested at Dáil Éireann against the withdrawal of the medical card for the over 70s. Show that we still have the strength & solidarity to fight for our rights by your actions.

Lobby for Older People: visit, write, phone & e-mail your local TDs & public representatives.

To view or download the full Submission in pdf form (395kB) click on this link: BUDGET_2010_SUBMISSION_BY_THE_ISCP

 

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Support the Day of Protest – November 6

November 4, 2009

GetUp StandUpThe Irish Senior Citizens Parliament has decided, following a decision of the Executive Committee, to lend its support to the National Day of Protest on Friday 6 November and to the “Get Up, Stand Up” campaign.

This campaign aims to bring about change in how Government responds to the crisis we face.

As part of the National Day of Protest, there are demonstrations scheduled to take place in eight centres across the country on November 6 at 2.30pm. These are: Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick, Waterford, Sligo, Tullamore, and Dundalk.

Protect

  • Jobs
  • Pensions
  • Vulnerable People
  • Vital Services
  • Community Support
  • Peoples’ Homes

We ask our member organisations to get behind this campaign and show that Older People in Ireland will stand up for their rights and to protect pensions, the Christmas Bonus, free travel, the carer’s allowance and of course medical cards.

For more information, see http://www.getupstandup.ie

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