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Local Reaction To Budget 2014

18 Oct 13


A lot of older people around Co. Wexford are eager to make the politicians aware of what’s happening on the ground as a result of last Tuesday’s budget. Some have called it a sickening budget for older people, while others have called it "savage".

As TD clinics will take place over the weekend,  we have attached details of venues and times, and have also attached an updated information and comment sheet that reflects how members of the Network feel at present.
View Contact Details for Elected Reps

This comment sheet includes information from both the Senior Citizens Parliament and Active Retirement Ireland with suggestions for local action. Please share this information with your members and if you make contact with any of our elected representatives (either by phone, email or in person), the Network would welcome any feedback.
View Comment & Information Sheet

The implications around the wider community in Co. Wexford are a cause of concern to many older people, both for themselves, their children and their grand-children.

General Comments from our members:

“The phone for people in Wexford is most essential for the elderly living alone, many may have to forfeit their landline to make ends meet”

“When you look at people living in total isolation in rural areas, the cutting of the telephone allowance is hard to believe”

“Suggestions of more funding being put into the Seniors Alert scheme is contradictory as you need your land line for your emergency response unit to work”

“The increase in the prescription charge on top of other so-called insignificant cuts, is totally unacceptable”

“Will the ceiling for the medical card income criteria continue to be dropped from now on? We live in fear of this being chipped away at”

“The cuts to the U25s are most unfair and if they are to be trained, trained for what?”

“I agree when people are healthy their medical card should be means tested, but for both U5s and older people, but for those with a long-term illness or a disability – they should be given a medical card in their own right”

“The worst was the increase in the cost to the monthly prescriptions, especially where people have a large amount of medicines to get, why are sick people getting this treatment?”

“Young people coming out of Education with Degrees & Masters are being very badly treated after all the hard work they put in studying to try and get a job. The Minister says they are setting up more courses for them, but what can graduates gain from these? Without jobs they can only get out of this country”

“The system works against you if you try to look after yourself. The reduction of Tax Allowance against VHI for a single person on Plan B will lead to a €2 or €3 a week direct increase, with a further increase in the future as a result of the cost of private beds in public hospitals, imposed by the HSE, which will be passed on to the consumer”

“I must keep my landline if I am to remain connected to Emergency Response. Using a mobile is not an option for me”

“We have about 70 people with pendant alarms for which you must have a landline (although I think they are now finding a method for using a mobile). How can you expect people to hold onto their landline with this extra cost and it their only means of security, what an act of butchery”

“They are “crowing” about not having reduced the pension, when in fact they have with Local Property Tax, reduced electricity units, fuel allowance cut, Christmas bonus gone, this new prescription charge of €2-50 is - we cannot even afford to “die”, phone allowance gone, Carbon tax raised again, anyone with private health insurance will be unable to maintain it due to yearly massive increases and phone allowance cut”

“Oh it's unbelievable but a fact! All we can do now is to shop around, and find a supplier who will give us a better deal, but that'll be very difficult. For now we have to hope our sufferings will lead to a better time for all of us”

Note Re Using Emergency Response Systems without having a landline:
If someone with a Personal Alarm chooses to get rid of their landline, the alternative option is not considered age friendly, as it involves keeping a SIM card topped up with credit. The cost of a change over for an existing customer is €300 to €350. This can be done on a GMS system provided you can get cover in your area. The cost of the top up is about €10 to €12 a month, this of course is in addition to an annual fee to which ever company you are with currently, costing around €80.

Other Notes:
18,367 residents of Co. Wexford are aged 65 years or over
• This figure represents 12.6% of the total population of the county, one percentage point
higher than the national percentage figure
• There has been a 24.2% increase in those aged 85 and over living in Co. Wexford •Over 44% of those aged 85 or over, who live in private households, live alone (State figure)

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Co Wexford Age Equality Network
c/o Wexford Local Development
Mill Park Road
Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford