ALONE welcomes additional cost of living measures announced by government but warns of a need for longer-term thinking
Calls relating to financial and legal difficulties grew by over 400% in winter 2022
Dublin, February 21st : ALONE, the charity that helps people to age at home, has welcomed the latest set of cost-of-living measures announced by government which includes targeted measures for older people. ALONE has welcomed the €200 lump sum payment for older people who receive the state pension.
ALONE is among the key partners in the cross-government ‘Stay Warm and Well/Reduce Your Use’ public information campaign, which urges householders and businesses to ensure that they are availing of the supports that are in place to help all of us through this winter. During the winter months of 2022, ALONE’s National Support and Referral Line saw calls relating to financial and legal difficulties grow by over 400% compared to the same period in 2021.
ALONE also saw an increase of 63% in cases of older people where their highest area of need was classed as Financial and Legal affairs between the first half of 2022 and the second half. The organisation has also cautioned that the increased cost of living will continue to impact older people beyond the winter, with January 2023 the sixteenth consecutive month where inflation has risen by over 5%.
Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE commented “We welcome the measures announced by government today as they will go towards to alleviating the pressure faced by older people as a result of the cost-of-living crisis. It is particularly important at this time as the cost of living is continuing to rise, that those on fixed incomes such as the State Pension are supported. We know that older people who are living on their own are struggling particularly badly as they continue to have to heat and run homes alone and on a fixed income”.
He went on to say, “Over the winter months, we heard of many stories from older people who were struggling to meet energy bills and whose income was not stretching as far as they needed it to. Although we are pleased that there has been an extension to certain cost of living measures in the latest government announcement, we must also examine the need for more systemic and long-term changes to avoid older people living in poverty during their CHY 8259 RCN 20020052
retirement. As the population is on course to have around 1 million people aged over-65 by 2031, commitments made such as benchmarking the State Pension must be delivered. Expanding the season and amount of the Fuel Allowance, need to be enacted to reduce the need for more short-term firefighting measures during future periods of high inflation.”
ALONE is also encouraging older people who are now eligible for the Fuel Allowance under its expanded eligibility criteria to apply for this support. If you or any older people that you know need any support, please visit alone.ie or call our National Support and Referral Line on 0818 222 024.