Posts Tagged ‘budget’



November 30, 2012


Some key elements of Budget 2013 are emerging through targeted leaks. All or most of them have the potential to affect you, your family and extended family. Many seem like proposals that may well emerge others may be just kite flying.

However NOW is the time to act if you do not agree with what is being proposed. I am urging you all to contact your local Dáil Deputy, Senator and local representatives to voice your concern. Do not delay, you must act this weekend. Go to their clinics, telephone them send a letter or an email.

Express your concerns in a quiet and dignified manner, that way they will listen. Tell them how austerity has affected you and your family’s lives.

Show them how you will be affected if you have lose a benefit or have to make new payments.

Remember everything is still on the table and there is still time to influence the outcome of the Budget process. Please pass this message to your friends, members of your groups and any other contacts you have.



Contact details: 

Mairead Hayes 



“On the fifth day before the budget, Older People asked of Brian …”

December 4, 2009

Budget minus 5 – Friday 4 December

“On the fifth day before the budget, Older People asked of Brian …”

Don’t tax household benefits for older people

Dear Brian,

Over the years Older People have gained a number of very helpful schemes. These so-called “free schemes” include the provision of passports, electricity or gas, telephone and the television license.

Please do not succumb to the temptation to tax these schemes.

“Why not?” You may ask. Don’t we all have to bear the budgetary burden?

These schemes have a direct effect on the living standards of the poorest & most vulnerable people in Ireland. If you tax the schemes, you will get hardly any extra money. Indeed the cost of collection could well exceed the amount collected.

It makes no sense to tax vulnerable older people for little or no gain.

Indeed you should modestly add to the schemes. Free broadband access would extend social participation for Older People at minimal cost.

Yours sincerely

Ireland’s Older People


“On the sixth day before the budget, Older People asked of Brian …”

December 3, 2009

Budget minus 6 – Thursday 3 December

“On the sixth day before the budget, Older People asked of Brian …”

Keep the Travel Pass

Dear Brian,

It is essential that the Free Travel Scheme remains in place for all Older People!

The free travel scheme is a major enabling factor in allowing the social participation of Older People in their communities. Social participation is extremely important in tackling loneliness and isolation amongst Older People. Not only does this scheme enable Older People to take part in social and civic life, it also provides them with access to essential services such as hospitals etc.

Many Older People find themselves isolated due to increasing frailty or because of high costs many of them have stopped driving. The number of people holding a full driver’s licence decreases with age; in 2006 only 44.5% of men over 80 and a mere 12.8% of women over 80 had a driver’s licence. Therefore public transport is an essential service for the many people unable to drive themselves. (CSO, 2007)

Taxi fares for a pensioner for medical visits can represent as much as 1/4 of their weekly pension. Recommendations included in the “Report of the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditures Programmes” to reduce the costs in HSE funded non-emergency transport services by 20% would result in this service being cut by 1/5 on the ground. This would only serve to worsen the situation for many vulnerable and sick Older People.

Yours sincerely
Ireland’s Older People


“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


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.



ISCP in the Day of Protest 2009

November 19, 2009

ISCP inSpired

The Irish Senior Citizens Parliament took a proud part in Dublin’s Day of Protest (November 6) as part of the “Get Up, Stand Up” campaign.

Many of our volunteers came out to lend their support to the campaign which aims to protect jobs and pensions as well as vulnerable people and vital services.

Flag carriersHere are a few pictures from the March in Dublin.

If you have any comments on the campaign or pictures from the other marches around the country, leave a comment in the box below or e-mail us and we will try to add them to our news here.

Intergenerational Solidarity

Older solidarity


Budget 2010: ISCP submission

November 9, 2009

The Irish Senior Citizens Parliament has made a very detailed Pre-Budget Submission to Government.

Among the main points which we have stressed are:

  • A commitment to protect the most vulnerable;
  • An increase of €10 in the State Pension for Older People;
  • The reinstatement of the Additional Payment at Christmas for pensioners (Christmas Bonus);
  • Access to services as of right for all Older People and especially access to travel and the entitlement to the Travel Pass to continue to be available for all Older People”.

We are aware that these are difficult times however we should judge society by how it treats society’s most vulnerable. We continue to urge Government to demonstrate its concern by protecting Ireland’s older citizens in Budget 2010.

The quality of Older Peoples’ lives has never been more under threat! A year ago thousands of Older People protested at Dáil Éireann against the withdrawal of the medical card for the over 70s. Show that we still have the strength & solidarity to fight for our rights by your actions.

Lobby for Older People: visit, write, phone & e-mail your local TDs & public representatives.

To view or download the full Submission in pdf form (395kB) click on this link: BUDGET_2010_SUBMISSION_BY_THE_ISCP