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Older & Bolder says Cut to State Pension ‘an assault on vulnerable older people’

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Concerted nationwide lobby of politicians will now get underway following Taoiseach’s refusal to rule out pension cuts.

The Older & Bolder campaign today said that a cut to the State Pension would be an assault on vulnerable older people.  Older & Bolder’s statement was issued further to the Taoiseach’s refusal this afternoon to rule out cuts to the Old Age Pension.

Patricia Conboy, Older & Bolder’s Director, said that any cut to the State Contributory Pension – which people have already paid for themselves through their PRSI contributions – will be stubbornly resisted by older people and a concerted nationwide lobby of politicians will now get underway through Older & Bolder’s eight member organisations.

Ms Conboy, said: “The Government’s argument seems to be that older people on non-Contributory State Pensions are vulnerable and all other older people are secure and indeed well-off.  This argument must be challenged with facts:

  • 84% of older people aged 65-74 years rely on social transfers, including the State Pension, to protect them against the risk of poverty;

  • 89% of older people aged 75 years and over rely on social transfers, including the State Pension, to protect them against the risk of poverty;

  • Older people absorbed a 2 % cut with the loss of the Christmas Bonus last year;

  • Older people are now facing prescription charges, a carbon tax and increased dental charges, not to mention the steady erosion of community and home care services.”

“On the same day that Minister Ó Cuiv mooted a cut to the State Pension, he promoted the National Pensions Framework to the Irish Association of Pension Funds.  Any attack on the State Pension is also an attack on the Government’s own proposals for the National Pensions Framework which are built on promotion of State Pension and soft mandatory supplementary pensions. This is another demonstration of the incoherence of the Government’s social policy.

“The clear message to people who are now of working age is that, if you provide for your old age by making contributions to a State-promoted pension scheme, you will be penalised when the time comes to draw down the income that is due to you,” Patricia Conboy concluded.

Older & Bolder’s members are Active Retirement Ireland, Age & Opportunity, Alzheimer Society of Ireland, Carers Association, Irish Hospice Foundation, Irish Senior Citizens Parliament, the Older Women’s Network and the Senior Help Line.  

Older & Bolder is an Atlantic Grantee.


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