Minister for Protection creating Social Insecurity

June 3, 2010

Older People want solidarity with young

“Older People are concerned that the result of what Minister Ó Cuív is proposing may set in train a process which will pit Older People against Young People” Máiréad Hayes, CEO of the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament said today. “Older People remember the solidarity and encouragement we got when the Government tried to take the over 70s Medical Cards. Older People were supported by students and by their families for which we applaud them. Now we say to the Minister for Social Protection do not use the State Pension to fund other anti-poverty measures” continued Ms Hayes. “Is the Minister seeking to divide Old and Young this year after the debacle of last year which sought to divide Public sector employees from Private sector employees?” she asked.

The issues involved are straight-forward: the Irish Social Contract entitles people who have paid for pensions to get their pension rather than live in fear that it will be taken away from them at their time of need in retirement. The proposals being attributed to the Minister would penalise the majority of Older People of whom 84% of over-65s and 89% of over-75s rely on social transfers, to save a little on the few who are outside these categories.

2010 is the “European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion” and Older People are facing a variety of challenges in their lives today –many live alone and find they are socially isolated now more so than ever before. Many others are actively supporting their families through family care and other non paid assistance.

Contrary to many reports Older People have had cuts both in 2010 and before. They lost the additional payment at Christmas, they now pay a Carbon Tax, metered water charges are being introduced, the introduction of prescription charges and a decrease or abolition in waivers for waste charges as well as VAT on local authority charges. The over-70s medical card debacle continues with a backlog in renewing medical cards and the Home Help service is under threat. We are concerned at what we perceive as an attack on Universal Payments and the entitlements of Older People.

The Irish Senior Citizens Parliament calls on every TD & Senator from all Parties to clarify their stance on this proposal immediately. We also call on all Irish people, young and old, to stand together to defend the Social Contract.


One comment

  1. This minister,like so many other ministers need never have to worry about their pensions, like us mere normal mortals.This minister, like so many others, constantly spout torrents of rubbish when talking about pensions and how `we’ve never been better off’I would love to know for instance, where the consumer bodies get there info from when talking about `there’s significant falls in the prices of goods in the supermarkets’.Can these consumer people care to share with us pensioners where to go, so that we too can streatch our fantastic pension a little further.When this minister rants on about our responsibilities with everyone else, so that we can bring ourselves out of the hole the government and the financial institions have dug us into,for him to even suggest cuts in pensions,introduce property taxes, water taxes and taxes on just about everything that walks and crawls, he should try himself to live on the same incomes as the rest of the pensioned populace.
    We have worked hard and long through the years, paid our dues as required, purchased our homes and tried,(though hard at times and not with the advantage of offshore accounts or multi properties to use) to squirrel away a little savings to tide us through our so called `golden years’.
    I could go on and list all the things i want to that i find so wrong which this minister stands for, but i shall leave them for another time, suffice to say, our pensions have steadily been eroded through a long list of `back door’ policies and legislations, it’s slowly been chipped away through measures already stated above in other peoples notices.
    All i can say is this,It’s about time `we the people’ got off our backsides and put an end to TD’s, Senators and Governments that do not honour those who, like me, have contributed to the state over our working lives.
    If you want to make savings minister, then start at the top.
    Do away with misisterial cars, cut all TD’s and Seantors salaries to a max of 80,000 a year, stop all manner of expences and bonuses, switch off all the lights in government buildings when not in use,
    Use public transport for getting about,do away with constituency offices and get a caravan to `get out among the people’. stop all committees that look into other committees that then produce `recomendatios’ that a 5 year old could tell you about,stop wasting money on proping up banks and NAMA, and stop junkets around the world to places and for things that have no relation to our country, and please, do away with the government jets, using them for getting TD’s and ministers home for the weekend is just not on.
    Mr O’Cuiv,for you to make suggestions on many subjects recently, especially relating to pensions and pensioners, is not only disrespectful to us, but a political ignorance of real life among the population.When you retire, you can go home full in the knowledge that your lifestyle will still be the same, us pensioners, will still come home to the same old.
    Introduce your proposed taxes, and i’ll organize a protest march myself, right up to your front door.

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