Archive for December, 2010

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Nollaig shona / Happy Christmas

December 22, 2010

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Regulation required for Home Care

December 14, 2010

The Irish Senior Citizens Parliament condemns the latest scandal of Elder Abuse against Older People and reiterates the call made on that programme by its CEO Mairead Hayes that there is an urgent need for statutory regulation and licencing of this area of care for very vulnerable Older People.

The old and vulnerable must be protected and its time to stop the scandal and start bringing Ireland into the 21st Century.

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BUDGET 2011 – Does it Protect Older People?

December 11, 2010

In the run-up to Budget 2011 the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament campaigned to “Protect Older People”. We maintained that it was vital that Older People be protected from the worst of the ravages arising from the Budget. Has today’s Budget 2011 accomplished this simple aim?

“Older People needed protection in the Budget. We very much welcome the  essential maintenance of the State Pension as well as the extra €40 in the fuel allowance. However it was disappointing to see that income tax age credits are to be phased out. This will only affect Older People, whose income will be taxed by up to an extra €325 per person. In addition Income Tax Age exemptions are being abolished over 4 years, again targeting pensioners with pretty low incomes.

Máiréad Hayes, CEO of the Parliament outlined the six planks underpinning the campaign:

  • Protect the State Pension
  • Protect Income
  • Protect Health Services
  • Protect against Fuel Poverty
  • Protect Transport Services
  • Protect Older People at Home

“Older People are well aware of the grave challenges facing Irish society. They are directly affected but also indirectly through their families”, continued Ms Hayes. “They help with childcare. They see their children losing jobs and their grandchildren emigrate. They witness the pay cuts and decreases in social welfare payments. Their families are hit with tax increases and cuts to the minimum wage. In summary profound anxiety for their adult children and grandchildren predominates, for although pensioners may have been saved the worst of direct cuts, the future will be one of struggling to help their families manage in
the most straitened of circumstances.”

“The future is still one of scrimping to make ends meet as the spending power of the pension is reduced with additional service changes and the scrapping of PRSI & Health Levy reliefs on pensions”, concluded Ms Hayes.

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BUDGET 2011 – It’s not too late to Protect Older People

December 6, 2010

In the run-up to Budget 2011 the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament today ramped up its campaign to “Protect Older People”. The cold snowy weather and Budget 2011 both present special challenges to Older People. The weather threatens hypothermia, isolation and broken bones. The Budget threatens cutbacks and tax increases. Both events threaten service reductions. It is vital that Older People be protected from the worst of the ravages arising from both the weather and the Budget.

ISCP CEO Máiréad Hayes

Máiréad Hayes, CEO of the Parliament outlined the six planks underpinning the campaign:

  • Protect the State Pension
  • Protect Income
  • Protect Health Services
  • Protect against Fuel Poverty
  • Protect Transport Services
  • Protect Older People at Home

“Older People need protection from the current adverse conditions. We would support the good work of our member organisations and continue to ask people to visit their older neighbours and assist with their heating, shopping and transport needs. If people can help Older People by cleaning a path or giving them a lift or getting in some food & fuel, we can regain the community spirit for which the Irish are famed. Older People make up a substantial number of the 2000 winter related deaths and need to be protected.”

“Older People of course need protection in the Budget. Our reading of the ‘4 Year Recovery Plan’ and the leaks indicate potential devastation for Older People,” she continued. “We are also calling for an extra week’s fuel allowance to help compensate for the freezing conditions.”

“Those who live alone have extra needs”, she concluded.

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ISCP at the National Demonstration

December 3, 2010

The Irish Senior Citizens Parliament supported the National Demonstration organised by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions on Saturday last. ISCP people came from as near as Finglas and as far away as Donegal on a cold, snowy Saturday to show their solidarity and to make the voice of older people heard. We joined something between 50,000 and 100,000 marchers from Dublin’s Civic Offices to the GPO.

We would like to thank everybody who joined the ISCP on the demonstration. In particular our friends from Older & Bolder were prominent with their pink umbrellas.

Evie Franks made a video about the Demonstration & included short interviews with the Parliament’s CEO, Máiréad Hayes, and Paul Walsh from the Parliament’s Limerick Division about why this Demonstration was so important.

Addressing the crowd, master of ceremonies Fintan O’Toole said thatv “We are here to say that we are who we are – citizens of a proud and free Republican democracy”. Other speakers at the event included Ictu President Jack O’Connor, Ictu General Secretary David Begg, and Siobhán O’Donoghue of the Community Platform. Marie Doyle of the Retired Workers Committee spoke on behalf of pensioners. She said elderly people had made a huge contribution to the State during their working lives and were now being treated like parasites. “We resent being told that we are a burden for the State”.

Performers Christy Moore, Frances Black and Jinx Lennon also entertained the crowd with relevant and hard hitting songs while actress, Ruth McCabe read, with emotion, from the 1916 Proclamation and the 1919 Democratic Programme the seminal founding documents of the State.

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