Boost for pensioners as Government looks to woo the 'grey' vote with Budget 2016

Boost for pensioners as Government looks to woo the 'grey' vote with Budget 2016

The “grey vote” was also front and centre of the coalition’s attempts to be returned to power when the next election is called.

A €3 boost to the weekly old age pension was a small help and the first time it has been increased since the economic collapse and recession gripped the country.

Other benefits included the fuel allowance increasing by €2.50 to €22.50 a week and a 75% Christmas bonus for those on long term welfare payments.

Despite the good news Age Action said other avenues could have been explored by the Government such as improving supports to let people stay in their homes, cuts prescription charges or telephone allowances.

Justin Moran, head of advocacy, said it will make a real difference to pensioners who saw their old age pension and household benefits cut by €13 a week since 2009.

“Almost a hundred thousand older people are living in deprivation,” he said.

“All of that cannot be fixed at once and what we have seen in Budget 2016 is a substantial step in the right direction.

Alone, the charity that cares for older people in need, warned that Ireland remains an expensive place to grow old with food almost 16% dearer than the EU average and unacceptably high levels of fuel poverty.

Sean Moynihan, chief executive, said: “We are acutely aware however that these small increases do not yet restore the Christmas Bonus, or the Fuel Allowance, to 2009 levels.”

Boost for pensioners as Government looks to woo the 'grey' vote with Budget 2016

“We need to keep planning and looking long term as every year we have 20,000 additional people turning 65, totalling 160,000 since the economic collapse.

“Alone believes that not all older people are the same and we must target resources to those most in need of help to live in safety and security as part of the community.”

More on this topic

Michael Noonan: We will abolish USC if back in powerMichael Noonan: We will abolish USC if back in power

Government failed to take 'prudent financial path' in Budget 2016, says FACGovernment failed to take 'prudent financial path' in Budget 2016, says FAC

High earners 'benefit most from tax changes in the Budget'High earners 'benefit most from tax changes in the Budget'

Group warns that parents may have to pay to hold child's place until free preschool startsGroup warns that parents may have to pay to hold child's place until free preschool starts


More in this Section

The DUP’s three concerns with Boris Johnson’s Brexit dealThe DUP’s three concerns with Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal

Man due in court following assault in CorkMan due in court following assault in Cork

Principals: Government cannot ignore schools funding and recruitment crisisPrincipals: Government cannot ignore schools funding and recruitment crisis

Justice department rejects almost a third of asylum seeker work applicationsJustice department rejects almost a third of asylum seeker work applications


Lifestyle

Sexual politics, snideput-downs and family rivalries are fuelling the trouble brewing in a small Midlands town.Charlie Murphy and Pat Shortt star in new Irish film 'Dark lies the Island'

Robert Hume tells of the eccentric MP for Athboy, Co. Meath – born 300 years ago this month – who thought he was a teapot, and was afraid his spout might break off.A strange brew of a man: The MP for Meath who believed he was a teapot

Ladysbridge and District Flower and Garden Club will meet on Monday at 8pm in Garryvoe Hotel.Gardening Notes: Your one-stop guide to the week's events

Don’t forget to lavish roses with the attention they deserve this winter, urges Hannah StephensonDon’t forget to lavish roses with the attention they deserve this winter

More From The Irish Examiner