Posts Tagged ‘Pension’

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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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Limerick European and Local Election Meeting – 19 May 2009

June 1, 2009

The Irish Senior Citizens’ Parliament’s Limerick meeting with European and Local Election candidates took place on 19 May 2009 in the Best Western Pery’s Hotel. Candidates from the South Euro Constituency and Limerick local electoral areas were invited.
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The meeting was attended by three European Candidates, Kathy Sinnott MEP (Independent), Senator Dan Boyle (Green Party), and Dr. Alexander Stafford (Independent).

The day began with a presentation on Elder Abuse by Julie Linwood, Senior Case Worker (Elder Abuse) in with the HSE in Limerick. The presentation covered all aspects of Elder Abuse using recent research on the topic and explained Elder Abuse and what it means to the average older person. This presentation focused on several headings including;

  • What is Elder Abuse?
  • Incidence?
  • Types of Elder Abuse?
  • How to recognise if Abuse could be occurring?
  • How might you learn about Abuse?
  • Where can you advise people to turn to?
  • Barriers to helping?

Julie’s presentation was followed by a very interesting Q&A session with many contributions from those present.

Kathy Sinnott MEP spoke about the demographics pointing to the increasing number of older people in Europe, with Ireland as the exception. She also spoke about healthy aging as well as the wisdom & experience of age. She emphasised her work for carers at a European level.

Senator Dan Boyle spoke about how Ireland had changed as a society, the growth of individualism & his support for community & advocacy groups.

Dr. Alexander Stafford spoke about universal health access, hospital waiting lists and the importance of pro bono & community work.

Questions to the candidates focussed on universal health care, the withdrawal of the medical card, proper pension provision and protection for private pensions.
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The meeting was later joined by 5 local candidates, Derek Mulcahy (Labour), Cathal McCarthy (Independent), Tom Shortt (Labour), Elena Secas (Labour) and James Nix (Green Party).

The meeting provided an opportunity to engage with the candidates on issues that affect the elderly. Topics covered included: medical cards, a Senior Citizens Forum, poor public transport, intergenerational living, mental health, the role of community centres & groups as well as anti-social behaviour.

The meeting was chaired by Máiréad Hayes, the Parliament’s CEO. It was attended by representatives from local Probus and Active Retirement groups as well as Lauren Quinn Taylor, the ISCP Policy officer.
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Apologies were received from Colm Burke MEP, Brian Crowley MEP, Seán Kelly, Ned O’Keeffe TD, Senator Alan Kelly and Cllr. Toiréasa Ferris.

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Silent support to reinstate Christmas bonus

May 22, 2009

Silent Dáil ProtestA variety of TDs, MEPs (& MEP candidates), by-election candidates and local election candidates came out to lend their support to the Irish Senior Citizens’ Parliament campaign to reinstate the Christmas bonus.

A small group of activists from the Parliament (some came from as far away as Westport) gathered outside Leinster House at lunchtime on Thursday 21 May 2009 to protest the savage 2% cut in the state pension to some of the most vulnerable in Irish society. It was agreed beforehand that a small silent protest would be the most appropriate way to make our feelings on this badly targetted cutback known.

Silent ProtestEvery TD had been informed & we were delighted to be joined by a number of them. Their solidarity was enhanced when we were also joined by a number of candidates for the local & European elections as well as a Dublin Central by-election candidate.

The ISCP quietly made our point – the next time we might be noisier.

What do you think?

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ISCP Annual Parliament 2009

April 17, 2009

sylvia-meehanSpeaking today at the Annual Parliament Meeting, Senior Citizens’ Parliament President Sylvia Meehan expressed the deep shock which Older People are feeling as a result of the removal of the Christmas Bonus for all Social Welfare Recipients.

Ms Meehan said that it was the equivalent of a 2% reduction in State Pension for Old Age pension recipients. She called on Government behalf of the Older People of Ireland to reconsider the decision to withdraw this payment.

Continuing she said “Older People living in fuel inefficient houses will, she warned, be colder and poorer this year unless this decision is reversed.”

The Parliament meeting continues today and tomorrow in the Dublin Institute of Technology, Gleeson Hall, Kevin Street, Dublin 8, 17th April & Saturday 18th April 2009.

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DÍOMÁ DOMHAIN AR SEANÓIRÍ FAOI EASPA BÓNAS NA NOLLAG

Agus í ag caint inniu ag Parlaimint Chinnbhliana Seanóirí na hÉireann, léirigh Uachtarán na Parlaiminte, Sylvia Meehan, an suaitheadh domhain atá sean-mhuintear na hÉireann mar gheall ar an ghearradh siar ar bhónas na Nollag dóibh siúd atá i dteideal cabhair leasa shóisialaigh.

Dúirt Sylvia gurb ionann an ghearradh seo agus ísliú 2% ar phinsin an Stáit. Mhol sí go láidir don Rialtas ath-mhachnamh a dhéanamh ar an gcine seo.

Ag leanúint ar aghaidh, “tá cónaí ar sean-daoine i dtithe a chuireann breosla amú – beidh na daoine seo níos fuara agus níos boichte tráth Nollag na bliana seo muna thagann athrú iomlán ar an gcine seo” arsa Uachtarán na Parlaiminte.

Leanann Parlaimint Chinnbhliana Seanóirí na hÉireann inniu agus amárach (Dé Satharn) in Institiúid Teicneolaíochta Átha Cliath, Sráid Chaoimhín.

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Be fair to older people

April 8, 2009

BE FAIR TO

OLDER PEOPLE

The Irish Senior Citizens Parliament urges the Government to ensure that Older People are not further disadvantaged in Supplementary Budget April 2009. Máiréad Hayes, CEO of the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament, stated that “Older People are still feeling the effects of Budget 2009. Many are fearful and frightened as they contemplate the changed economic circumstances both in Ireland and worldwide.”

The following table illustrates that when compared with the EU average State Pension at 60% of the average working wage, Ireland’s rate of 32.5% of the average working wage is almost half the EU average.


Country

State Pension as proportion of average working wage

Netherlands

81.9%

Spain

81.2%

Denmark

79.8%

Italy

67.9%

Sweden

62.1%

France

51.2%

Germany

39.9%

Ireland

32.5%

UK

30.8%

Source: Aon / OECD; 2007 European Pensions Barometer Report


Noting that Older People in the comparative countries have better health and social care systems she said this Budget must not further disadvantage vulnerable Older People and must treat with justice and fairness.

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