Archive for the ‘Pensions’ Category



December 14, 2011



The Irish Senior Citizens Parliament welcomes the fact that in Budget 2012 Pensions in payment were maintained at their current rate. However the Parliament is concerned that many members  who are due to receive their pension from September 2012 will be affected by these proposed changes to the contributory rates listed below.

We urge the Minister to consider a more gradual approach to these changes. We also urge all those people who have been in touch with us to make their views and individual concerns/ situations known to the Minister and their elected representatives.

BUDGET 2012 PROPOSED CHANGES State Contributory Pension

Average PRSI Contributions per Year Previous Payment Proposed Payment  Difference
48 or more 40-47 **

















Nil Nil





**Previously this referred to 20-47 contributions

Qualified Adult: at this time we do not have figures

These changes require legislation and are not yet in affect.



For further information please contact

Mairead Hayes 086 349 8848


Eligibility may affect you

December 5, 2011



Effective September 2012 changes to Average PRSI contribution requirements for a State Pensions will result in a new 6 tier payment structure.

Based on today’s rates this will mean lower payments for those who retire from 1st September 2012. The changes as now set out will range from €4.20-€22.70 per week. Taken on their own these cuts will create hardship for many older people especially for those who have broken PRSI records. Many women fall into this category and unless the change is accompanied by a determined effort to look at their unique positions they will badly affected.

Máiréad Hayes, CEO of the ISCP, called on Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton T.D. to examine these proposals which were unveiled for the first time today and to engage in consultation with Older People and their organisations on the matter.


for further information contact:                                           

Mairead Hayes                                                                        Tel:   (01) 8561243

Chief Executive Officer                                                         086 349 8848

Irish Senior Citizens Parliament                                5th December  2011


STOP! There is a Better, Fairer Way

November 19, 2010

Irish Congress of Trades Unions Demonstration on Saturday 27th November

Irish Senior Citizens Parliament urges you all to support this Demonstration

The Irish Senior Citizens Parliament is supporting the National Demonstration on Saturday 27 November 2010. We are supporting this demonstration, organised by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions because

  • It aims to bring about change in how our Government responds to the crisis we face in the lead up to Budget 2011. At this time the key to recovery is a credible plan for job creation which will inspire hope and confidence.
  • Many of you have told us of your desire to demonstrate and ensure that the VOICE of Older People is heard at this crucial time for our Country.
  • The Parliament wants to ensure that we engender a spirit of solidarity across the generations. Only together can we repair the damage and work constructively to make this an island for young, old and all ages to live and fully participate in our society. It is a critical moment to give expression to solidarity between all peoples on this island.

The National Demonstration will start at Wood Quay, Dublin 2 (assembling at Cook Street) from 11am, for 12 noon set-off. The march will proceed along the Quays into O’Connell Street for a rally in front of the GPO to conclude at 2pm.

Members under 65 please note: Irish Rail has put in place a special arrangement for a day-return train fare on the 27th from Cork, Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Limerick, Waterford and Kerry.  The discount code to use is:  ICTU1122. The website is

We ask our member organisations to get behind this campaign and show that Older People in Ireland will stand up for their rights and to protect pensions, health services, transport services, Older People at home and of course medical cards – remember our 2008 protest.

Let’s bring all generations together – bring your children & grandchildren. We will have our Parliament banner – why don’t you bring along your own placards, posters & signs. Show your imagination with your slogans. Let’s see buggies, walking sticks and wheelchairs demonstrating in solidarity.

Let us know if you will be taking part by e-mailing the ISCP office at or by calling (01) 8561243.

There is a better, fairer way.



October 14, 2010

At a meeting today of the Pre- Budget Forum with the Minister for Social Protection, Eamon O Cuiv the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament stressed the importance of maintaining Older People’s purchasing power.

Mairead Hayes CEO stated that while the pension was not reduced in last year’s budget many older people have already seen their income and buying power reduced by a number of decisions made by government including the loss of the additional payment at Christmas, the loss of benefits and the introduction of charges and levies such as the carbon tax, the PSO levy and the prescription charge among others.

The Parliament today called on the Minister to maintain the pension, to increase the Living Alone Allowance and to extend it to low income civil service pensioners. The Parliament also argued that now is the time to increase the Over 80 Age Allowance by €5.

The Irish Senior Citizens Parliament highlighted the essential role played by the Fuel Allowance and urged its extension by one week this year.

Ms. Hayes continued, a previous Minister for Social Welfare, sadly no longer with us, said that, “measures such as the Age Allowance and Living Alone Allowance together with the Fuel Allowance were introduced in tougher times to help those worse off.” We would contend that this is that time and these Older People should be helped now.”



Is Dan O’Brien for Real?

July 15, 2010

“Government will have to cut old-age pension” as reported in the Irish Times today makes for a great headline” said Máiréad Hayes CEO of the Irish Senior Citizens However it should be remembered that for the majority of Older People this is their sole income. It is what keeps them alive and in some cases above the poverty line.

Mr O’Brien makes what appear to be very rational arguments on the face of it. However what he ignores is, that far from being better off, Senior Citizens have seen real cuts to their income by the withdrawal of the Additional Payment at Christmas, increased costs arising from carbon tax, loss of dental and optical benefit, the introduction of prescription charges, high fuel charges, reported reductions in transport services and planned cuts in Home Help Services to name but a few.

There was a commitment in the programme for government to a State Pension of €300 by 2012 and at the current rate of €230 we are still a long way off achieving that figure.”

Older People are sharing the burden in this economic downturn as they have done through previous downturns. There are still over 17% of Older People who are at risk of poverty and the State Pension as a percentage of average earnings is one of the lowest in the EU.


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.


Budget Fever Hits Early

May 14, 2010


The Minister for Social Protection Éamon Ó Cuív T.D., in response to a question posed to him, responded that “he cannot rule out a Budget Cut to the Older Age Pension (State Pension).”

The Irish Senior Citizens Parliament would remind the Minister that over 50% of Older People are dependent on this pension as their sole source of income. The loss of the Special Payment at Christmas was a reduction in the payments for those pensioners during what was one of the harshest winters we have experienced.

In the year to date

  • Dental and Eye Benefit were removed
  • A carbon tax introduced with no alleviation measures to reduce its impact
  • The plan to introduce Water charges accelerated
  • A draft of the prescription charges bill is we understand before cabinet
  • Higher fuel and petrol charges
  • Planned cuts to the Home Help Service
  • Reductions in transport services
  • Cuts to the Health Services

There are still over 17% of Older People who are at risk of poverty and the State Pension as a percentage of average earnings is one of the lowest in the EU.

We are aware that the Budgetary Process has commenced and that many a “kite” will be flown over the coming months.  Last year the process was fuelled by the Commission on Taxation Report and the “Bord Snip Report”, the author of which was quoted in December as saying that he was preparing the ground with his report.

Last year Older People may have been fearful and anxious. However that is not the message we are getting from them this year.