Government warned against pension cuts

The Government was today warned to protect the old-age pension in the budget or face the wrath of angry senior citizens.

The Government was today warned to protect the old-age pension in the budget or face the wrath of angry senior citizens.

Older and Bolder, a coalition of elderly support groups, is planning a national campaign to fight any proposed cuts to state benefits.

New research from the body reveals pensioners are deeply concerned about the future of the pension and other supports and services given the Government’s need to cut costs.

Patricia Conboy, director, said politicians would face a backlash from pensioners if moves were made to slash the €230 weekly payment.

“I think there would be profound disappointment and anger,” she said.

Thousands of elderly people from across the country protested outside the Dáil last October at plans to slash free health care for the over 70s, with the Government eventually rowing back on the issue.

Junior Minister Aine Brady, who has responsibility for older people, has not ruled out a cut to pensions in the December budget heightening fears among senior citizens.

Older and Bolder is planning on sending out postcards and unveiling billboards highlighting their plight.

The group has already launched an online petition.

The body held meetings in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Sligo, Waterford, Tralee, Trim, Tullamore and Wexford between November and June to listen to the concerns of members.

Older and Bolder was set up in 2006 to campaign for the development of a National Strategy on Ageing and Older People.

The group is comprised of a range of organisations, including Active Retirement Ireland, Age and Opportunity, Alzheimer Society of Ireland and the Carers Association.

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