Archive for the ‘Annual Parliament Meeting’ Category

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APM News in Brief 2014 Irish Senior Citizens Parliament 2014

July 3, 2014

The Annual Parliament Meeting 2014 took place in the Liberty Hall Theatre & Conference Centre on 13th & 14th May 2014 at which the following Officers and Executive Committee were elected to serve for the coming year

President: John Walsh
Vice-President: Nell Foley
Hon. Secretary: Evelyn Moran
Treasurer: Ena O’Mahoney

Trustees: John Tierney, John J. McLoughlin

Executive Committee Members:
Paddy Behan, Imelda Browne, Padraic Browne, Larry Burtenshaw, Peter Campbell, Paddy Coughlan, Larry Duggan, Joe Jennings, David McManus, Patrick Morgan, Antonia Murphy, Seamus Murray, Patrick Philpott, Patrick A. Stanley, Paul Walsh.
Delegates attended a dinner and social evening on Tuesday night which was enjoyed by all.
APM 2014 – Motions
The following motions were passed at APM 2014:

Call for the appointment of a Full Minister for Older People.
Protection of Older People call for a high level meeting with government to impress upon them the need to protect older people both financially and in all aspects of their lives.
Household Benefits Package Cuts there were strong calls for the reversal of the cuts to all of the benefits with each one detailed by several speakers with great passion and vigour.
Restoration of Telephone Allowance strong calls for its restoration to ensure people retain landlines for security systems especially where broadband coverage is inadequate.

Bereavement Grant to be restored.
Living Alone Allowance called for an increase in the rate for this essential payment which has remained static for several years.
Medical Card Restoration called for the restoration of the over 70s medical card.
Prescription Charges called for the Parliament to campaign for their abolition. They have increased by 500% since their introduction.
Medical Card Assessment Methods called for the system in place for the renewal of cards for older people in Nursing Homes to be reviewed as a matter of urgency. Many cards were stopped for these vulnerable people and the excuse was that their new address was not known to the Department of Health.
Universal Health Insurance called on the Parliament to engage in all aspects of the consultation process and to closely monitor all areas of this government proposal to ensure that older people are protected.
Crisis in the Health Services the APM viewed with alarm the deterioration of services for young and old. As an emergency measure it called for the appointment of individual Ministers with full Ministerial power to handle designated areas for a specified period.
Drugs & Alcohol Misuse condemned by delegates who urged more services so that the harm and anxiety caused to older people and families across the country would end.
Closure of Garda Stations called for a structure to be put in place to ensure adequate care and protection for older and vulnerable people in urban and rural areas with particular emphasis on those living in rural areas.
Pre-Pension Older People called for the position of this group to be treated as a special category in discussions with government. For many their sole income is €188 per week job seeker benefit and there are few if any prospects of a job.
Transparency in the Appointment of Pension Trustees called as a matter of urgency, for a transparent system for the appointment of Trustees to Occupational Pension Schemes. There is a concern that many appointments are controlled by the employers.
Social Welfare & Pensions (No 2) Bill 2013 called for a review of this provision which allowed for pensions in payment to be reduced by Trustees of Schemes. There is serious concern at the manner and speed with which Scheme Trustees are using this provision to reduce pensions in payment to the maximum allowed. Further there is a concern that employers, many of whom are cash rich, are walking away from their responsibilities or are not being pressed to contribute under the legislation.
Pension Protection Fund called for the establishment of a fund financed along the lines of the UK Protection Fund.
“Right of Audience” for Pensioners called for the ISCP to pursue the right of pensioners to use the Industrial Relations Machinery of the State to vindicate their rights.
Penalty for the non-payment of Household Charge (no longer in place) to be abolished.
Water Charges called for the charges to be scrapped based on the view that they are unjust and unfair. There has not been sufficient consultation leading to uncertainty regarding the charging mechanisms and the ultimate costs which will be imposed.
“Putting People First” The Alignment Report called for the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government who published this report to amend the proposals for the tendering process for the delivery of services to disadvantaged communities. Such amendments to reflect proven previous experience, long term relationships with disadvantaged communities and the ability to deliver community services.
Loss of Free to AIR viewing of GAA Matches called for Executive Committee to make representations to the GAA, the Minister and the Provider to seek a solution which would allow older and disabled people especially those in rural areas who cannot afford the cost of Pay to View and are unable to travel to access a service.
Privitisation of Dublin Bus Routes concern expressed by the Ballyfermot Seniors Forum that this action would have a detrimental effect on the services available to older people.
Reductions in Dublin Rosslare Rail Services called for the Incoming Executive to make representations to the Minister for Transport to ensure that an adequate service is maintained.
Repeal of Stamp Duty Pensions Levy called for the ISCP to ensure that this levy and the legislation enabling it is repealed. It is causing extreme hardship to many schemes who are already in deficit as well as additional hardship to pensioners whose pensions are being to pay it.
Private Health Insurance Tax Relief motion called for the original arrangement, whereby, the total amount of the premium paid was allowed for tax purposes to be restored.
Medical Expenses Tax Relief called for the relief to be given at the marginal rather than the standard rate.
Post Office Closures motion called for the reversal of the closure of Post Offices and their transfer from rural to urban areas and urged the ISCP to pursue this matter with Government.
Closure of Small Local Credit Unions called for the ISCP to make representations to ensure that solvent successful local credit unions are allowed to remain open.

Raffle 2014
Tickets are available for Raffle 2014 which will be held on Thursday 9th October 2014. Please support the efforts of our Fundraising Committee. Tickets are a book of 3 for €5 or €2 each.

Hard Copies of “News In Brief” are available on request

email to info@seniors.ie for any queries, comments suggestions and offers to assist in any way whether financial or as a volunteer.

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Annual Parliament 2011

February 7, 2011

ISCP NOTICE

Annual Parliament Meeting (APM) 2011
in the Liberty Hall Theatre & Conference Centre
from 1.45pm on Friday 11 March
to 1.00pm Saturday 12 March 2011

The Annual Parliament provides the Parliament’s 400 affiliated member organisations with an opportunity to promote the views of older people, to set policy for the Parliament and to elect officers for the coming year.

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Special Delegate Meeting 2010

May 10, 2010

ISCP NOTICE

Special Delegate Meeting 2010

in the Liberty Hall Theatre & Conference Centre

on Friday 21 May

from 12.00 noon sharp to 3.15pm.

This Special Delegate Meeting will provide the Parliament’s 400 affiliated member organisations an opportunity to consider affiliation / membership fees.

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News in Brief – April 2010

May 9, 2010

The Irish Senior Citizens Parliament has issued a special “News in Brief” focusing on its Annual Parliament Meeting, 2010.

Click here: News in Brief April 2010 to view / download the newsletter (pdf format, 1Mb).

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ISCP first Executive members honoured

May 7, 2010
President Mary McAleese and Senior Citizens Parliament

Jim Quinn, Emer Cosgrave, President Mary McAleese, Jim Eadie and Sylvia Meehan

Two members of the first Executive of the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament were honoured at APM 2010.

Emer Cosgrave and Jim Eadie (pictured) were thanked for their dedication and vision in helping set up the Parliament in 1996, following on from the European Year of Older People three years earlier and for their service on the ISCP’s first Executive Committee.

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APM 2010 – Motions

May 6, 2010

Two Emergency Motions were passed at the APM. The first motion called on the Government to address without delay the current dispute in the public services due to the effect it was having on Older People in relation to pensions and other social and medical services. This motion was proposed by the Finglas Division of the ISCP and got full support from the delegates.

Vice-President: Ena O'Mahoney

The other emergency motion demanded that medical card renewals for Older People be immediately extended for a period of two years as the HSE figures show that the vast majority of Older People qualify. This motion was passed unanimously and in the context of the backlog – running into thousands – in renewing medical cards. It was also proposed that all new medical cards should be for a three year period rather than the current two years.

The following motions were also passed at APM 2010 in Liberty Hall Theatre & Conference Centre:

Government Pensions Policy: Motion 1 called on the Government to restart the consultation process on pensions. Speakers criticised the recently published Pensions Framework.

Pension Protection: Motion 2 called for the immediate introduction of a Pensions Protection Fund and criticised the proposed Pension Insolvency Protection Schemes (PIPS).

State Pension Contribution Payments: Motion 3 criticised the unilateral suspension of payments to pensioners who miss a week in collecting their pension. This has only arisen since the replacement of the pension book with a plastic card. The recent rejection of pensions for 85 farmers’ wives was also heavily criticised. (Note that the farmers’ wives pensions have since been restored – congratulations Wexford.)

Additional Payment at Christmas: Motion 4 called for the reinstatement of the Additional Payment at Christmas. Motion 5 instructed the incoming Executive to make this a priority. Both passed, which meant that Motion 6 fell.

Fuel Allowance: Medical Card holders should be automatically entitled to the Fuel Allowance.

Living Alone Allowance: This allowance consists of €7.70 per week added to the pension and has not altered in 12 years. There is a pressing need for a substantial increase.

Universal Social Contribution: Concern was expressed about the effect of replacing PRSI, the Health Levy & the income levy with a USC & its effect on pensions.

Home Help Services: Motion 10 praised the work of Home Helps & Carers & called on the Government to support their work.

Financial Abuse: Older People should be protected from scam artists & cowboys who leave their victims afraid to live alone.

Public Transport: Downgrading of public transport (bus, rail etc.), especially in rural areas, must be halted.

Universal Health Care: The APM called for a Universal Health System which provides care for all, free at the point of delivery on the basis of health and social care need.

Medical Cards: Motions 14-18 all called for the restoration of the medical card to all over-70s and the removal of prescription charges.

Dental & Optical Benefits: These benefits must be restored.

Stroke Manifesto and FAST: The APM gave full support to the Irish Heart Foundation’s 16 point Stroke Manifesto & FAST Campaign.

Mental Health: The neglect of public psychiatric hospitals was condemned.

Nursing Home Support Scheme / Fair Deal: The current scheme should be scrapped & replaced with a scheme based on the 1992 Mercer Report.

ISCP CEO Máiréad Hayes

Taxes and Charges: The proposed Property Tax and Water Charges – as they impact on Older People – should be opposed.

Local Government: Motions 27-30 opposed Water Charges, Carbon Tax and refuse collection charges and called for waivers for Older People. Councils should also keep footpaths free of snow & ice.

Community Support Scheme: Along with restoring the Scheme, alarms for Older People should be zero VAT rated.

Safety & Security must be made a priority & the work of the Community Garda was praised.

Taxation of medical costs: Dental & optical costs should now be allowable for tax rebates.

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New Executive elected at APM 2010

May 4, 2010

The following Officers and Executive Committee were elected at the Annual Parliament Meeting to serve for the coming year.

President: Peter Campbell

Vice-President: Ena O’Mahoney

Hon. Secretary: Evelyn Moran

Treasurer: Nell Foley

Trustees: John Tierney, John J. McLoughlin

Executive Committee Members:

Jim Cousins, Anthony Gilligan, Henry Harding, Barney Hartnett, Joe Jennings, Ignatius Martin, Patrick Morgan, John F. Murray, Anna O’Farrell, Breda O’Malley, Patrick Philpott, Séamus Rodgers, Patrick A. Stanley, Gerry Whyte, Jerry Withers

The 14th Annual Parliament Meeting took place in the Liberty Hall Theatre & Conference Centre on 26 and 27 March. The APM was attended by over 240 delegates and observers from all parts of the country. On Friday night delegates attended a dinner and social event.

Peter Campbell & Sylvia Meehan

A presentation was made to the outgoing President, Sylvia Meehan (pictured left with incoming President Peter Campbell). She received a standing ovation for her service and a slide show of some of her highlights in the Parliament was shown.

The APM was addressed by President Mary McAleese on Friday afternoon, when she thanked the Parliament for its work. Speaking about the Parliament, President McAleese said “it only exists because you care about the quality of life of our senior citizens and care enough to get involved, get organised and insist on being heard … The Irish Senior Citizens Parliament is a stellar example of older people working for older people and for Irish society, infusing it with their vitality, vision and distilled wisdom.” (Click here for full speech.)

On Saturday the APM heard a “call to arms” from Parliament CEO, Máiréad Hayes and out-going President, Sylvia Meehan. They stressed the need for all member organisations to fight together in the campaigns to achieve the objectives agreed at the APM. They said the ISCP was up for the fight & that victory can be achieved by standing together and using the passion and skill abundant in Older People.