The organisation made the comment in response to Budget 2022
Dublin, 12th October 2021: ALONE, the organisation that supports older people to age at home, has today responded to Budget 2022. The organisation says that Budget 2022 highlights Ireland as a country where quality of life in old age is still something many strive for, due to the low increase in the State Pension and lack of actions to address the issues impacting on older people.
Announced today, Budget 2022 increased the State Pension by €5 per week to €253.30. ALONE has highlighted that this increase still leaves the State Pension €33.18 below the poverty line. Furthermore, the €5 increase does not to deliver on the government’s commitment to benchmark the State Pension at 34% of average weekly earnings.
Responding to Budget 2022, ALONE CEO Seán Moynihan said: “There are measures in Budget 2022 that are welcome by ALONE, such as the increase in the Living Alone Allowance, however, overall we are disappointed in Budget 2022 as it does not address the issues impacting Ireland’s older population. It is now also eight years since the publication of the National Positive Ageing Strategy and there has yet to be any investment in this. With an ageing demographic, it is imperative that funding be made available for the implementation of this strategy.
“ALONE wish to express our solidarity with the many households, young and old, who still experience great inequality despite the measures announced today. Debates regarding the Budget are often framed as ‘them versus us’, one generation against another. This is unhelpful and unfair. The issues affecting older people today will affect older people in the future.
“Older people still have to live on a State Pension below the poverty line and this is another missed opportunity by government to deliver on its commitment to benchmark the State Pension at 34% of average weekly earnings. At this rate, it will be Budget 2030 before a government finally reaches this target.
“The €5 increase in the Fuel Allowance and increase in the income threshold is welcome, however, we do not believe that this will alleviate the additional pressure households in fuel poverty will experience due to extreme increases in energy prices and Carbon Tax.
“The planned retrofitting of over 4,500 homes for people on low incomes or in energy poverty is a welcome measure. However, 4,500 is only a starting point as this figure would not address the need among the 65+ population in the least energy efficient homes. We continue to urge the government to invest in a Just Transition plan aimed at low income households in fuel poverty.
“Older people deserve an income above the poverty line and to be able to keep their home warm. This Budget does not provide that and does not take the necessary action required to address the issues impacting older people. Budget 2022 is a missed opportunity to make Ireland a fairer country, for old and young alike. Budget 2022 still leaves an Ireland where quality of life in old age is still something many strive for.”