Posts Tagged ‘Ireland’

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General Election 2011: Support Older People

February 21, 2011

In the run-up to General Election 2011 the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament today stepped up its campaign to “Support Older People”.

Máiréad Hayes, CEO of the Parliament outlined the five tenets of the campaign:

  • Support Older Peoples Income
  • Support Universal Health Care
  • Support the Eradication of Elder Abuse
  • Support Positive Ageing
  • Support Older People in the Community

The ISCP has distributed thousands of Election Campaign sheets to its members & are encouraging them to actively engage with all candidates from all political parties to “Support Older People”. We have organised a number of meetings around the country enabling Older People to engage with the Election candidates, thus ensuring that the “Voice Of The Elderly” is heard.

Click here to view / download the ISCP’s Election Campaign sheet to “Support Older People”.

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Annual Report 2009

April 6, 2010

Click on the cover of the 2009 Annual Report to download the full 29 page report (pdf format – 691 kB).

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“On the sixth day before the budget, Older People asked of Brian …”

December 3, 2009

Budget minus 6 – Thursday 3 December

“On the sixth day before the budget, Older People asked of Brian …”

Keep the Travel Pass

Dear Brian,

It is essential that the Free Travel Scheme remains in place for all Older People!

The free travel scheme is a major enabling factor in allowing the social participation of Older People in their communities. Social participation is extremely important in tackling loneliness and isolation amongst Older People. Not only does this scheme enable Older People to take part in social and civic life, it also provides them with access to essential services such as hospitals etc.

Many Older People find themselves isolated due to increasing frailty or because of high costs many of them have stopped driving. The number of people holding a full driver’s licence decreases with age; in 2006 only 44.5% of men over 80 and a mere 12.8% of women over 80 had a driver’s licence. Therefore public transport is an essential service for the many people unable to drive themselves. (CSO, 2007)

Taxi fares for a pensioner for medical visits can represent as much as 1/4 of their weekly pension. Recommendations included in the “Report of the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditures Programmes” to reduce the costs in HSE funded non-emergency transport services by 20% would result in this service being cut by 1/5 on the ground. This would only serve to worsen the situation for many vulnerable and sick Older People.

Yours sincerely
Ireland’s Older People

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“On the seventh day before the budget, Older People asked of Brian …”

December 2, 2009

Budget minus 7 – Wednesday 2 December

“On the seventh day before the budget, Older People asked of Brian …”

Re-instate the pensioners Christmas payment

Dear Brian,

We strongly urge you to reconsider the withdrawal of the extra week’s payment for pensioners.

This payment provided many vulnerable Older People with additional income to help with the cost of heating and fuel bills during the long winter period.

Older People have become dependent on this extra payment in the dead of winter to help with their fuel, heating and lighting bills. The Central Statistics Office has found that since August 2008 the cost of natural gas has increased by 6.5%, bottled gas has risen by 6.6% and solid fuel by 6.3%. If the proposed carbon tax is introduced in this year’s budget we know that these prices will be further increased.

Hypothermia is a major difficulty for many Older People and causes a number of deaths each year.

We know that almost 10% of pensioner households experience fuel poverty in the winter months. This is an unnecessary type of poverty in today’s society; no person should be forced to endure an Irish winter without adequate heat.

While this payment is termed a “Bonus” the fact is that Older People are reliant on this additional payment to help defray these additional winter costs.

Yours sincerely

Ireland’s Older People

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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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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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