Posts Tagged ‘Irish economy’

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Reply from ISCP to article about Gay Byrne in Irish Times

February 17, 2010

This letter is a reply to the original article which appeared in the Irish Times on Saturday 13 February 2010.

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Madam – Saturday’s Irish Times article on Gay Byrne provided some remarkable insights – not only into the mind of the great broadcaster, but also into how many of Ireland’s Older People feel they are treated. Gay’s comment on the “constant, low-level anxiety” felt by people of his generation is certainly echoed by many of the members of the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament.

2009 brought Older People – and everyone else – the continuing banking & credit crisis, the introduction of NAMA, the continuation of the over-70s Medical card debacle, further threats to pensions and other entitlements and the introduction of prescription charges & income levies.

The article states that Gay has “borne witness to decades of mismanagement” but in 2010 older people can look forward to among other things a Carbon Tax, metered water charges and a decrease in Older People’s waivers for waste charges together with VAT on Local Authority Charges to name but a few items. Where will it stop we ask.

However it was his lament on lack of consultation – “Had. I. Been. Asked.” – that indicated the single greatest challenge for Older People in today’s Ireland. Older People have valuable contributions to make to society – the ISCP works to enable these contributions to be heard and implemented. For example next month’s Annual Parliament Meeting will be an opportunity for Older People to speak on issues that concern them – ranging from the impact of the withdrawal of the  Medical Card for over-70s to Elder Abuse to the need for the Community Support Scheme to enable people to feel secure in their homes.

But who will listen?

All is not lost, however. As part of the National Positive Ageing Strategy, the Minister for Older People and Health Promotion, Áine Brady TD is beginning a series of meetings around the country to hear the views of older people on issues that affect them. This is a most welcome development and is fully supported by the ISCP. We look forward to the action which we hope will follow the consultation.

The lives lived by Older People should be treasured and value should be given to their ongoing contributions to society in so many different ways. They should not be treated as economic units, but rather as valued citizens with a great deal to offer and valuable suggestions to enable all of us together to make Ireland the best place in which to grow old.

Yours sincerely

Máiréad Hayes

CEO

Irish Senior Citizens Parliament

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Start the discussion NOW!!

July 16, 2009

IT’S TIME

to decide and start the discussion about  the Ireland we all want to grow Old in.

Lets start IT Now.

Speaking today following the publication of An Bord Snip Nua Report, Máiread Hayes CEO of the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament stated that “the Menu, choice and range of options in this report have the potential to detrimentally affect the lives of all Older People. The Menu ranges far and wide and if even partially implemented will have lasting consequences on the lives of all Older People”.

Noting Minister Lenihan’s remarks that “these are the choices we as a people and not just as public representatives and Government will have to face up to etc” on behalf of the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament she asked, “what process is the Minister proposing to ensure that all the people can be involved in the decisions”.

The Irish Senior Citizens Parliament wants and demands to be involved in the discussions and debates about the range of options contained in the report both in its own right as an organisation and also as part of the Community and Voluntary Pillar of Social Partnership.

Concluding she said “Minister lets have a timetable and start the debate now about the kind of Ireland in which Older People will be cherished.

 

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Fergus Finlay at the Annual Parliament Meeting 2009

May 4, 2009

Fergus Finlay at the ISCPMaking all our Voices heard

Remarks by Fergus Finlay, CEO, Barnardos

At the Senior Citizens Parliament

Dublin, 17th April 2009

It was our former Minister for Finance, Charlie McCreevy, who famously urged us to party on as if there were no tomorrow. And for many years it seemed, despite all sorts of warning signs, that the party would never end. Well, I think we all have to accept that the party’s over, at least for now.

And the choice we now have to make is the same as the guests at any party where the hosts have encouraged over-indulgence. Do we give in to the hang-over, take to the bed and feel sorry for ourselves? Or do we decide that this is the time when we look after each other, and recover some of the things that we might have lost during the period when we were all being told that there was no need to worry about tomorrow?

If I could put that another way: we’re in a period of transition now. We need, all of us, to be heard in a demand that that transition be accomplished in a spirit of social justice and solidarity, and not by forcing the weakest and most vulnerable to carry the burden of adjustment. I believe we should be heard together.

I met a businessman about a year ago, who told me that the greatest tragedy would be if the only legacy of the celtic tiger was a very large fleet of second-hand luxury cars. It’s beginning to look that way, isn’t it? With jobs being lost at the rate of hundreds a day, factory closures no longer making the news unless they’re big ones, banks teetering on the brink of extinction, and the public finances apparently going to hell at a rate of knots, there is cause to be afraid.

But the celtic tiger always had two sides to it – a snarl as well as a smile. That’s because of the choices we made throughout that entire period.

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