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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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