Dublin, 16th October Tomorrow, 17th October, is the UN Day for the Eradication of Poverty. To mark this, ALONE is highlighting the plight of the 20% of Irish older people at risk of poverty or suffering deprivation.
CEO of ALONE, Sean Moynihan says, “There can be a misconception that all older people are financially secure, and that they have more money than most. However, in ALONE we work with the one in five older people who are at risk of poverty or suffering from deprivation on a day to day basis. They never benefitted from the boom but have seen a consistent erosion of their income and vital support services in recent years’”.
Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE commented, “The last seven successive years of harsh budgets have disproportionally affected the most vulnerable, with cuts to home help hours and the introduction of prescription charges, a property tax and water charges . We feel that the Budget 2015 was a missed opportunity to help close the gap between the richest and poorest in our society. We feel that a more targeted approach should have been taken, for example, a person over 70 years of age on a private pension will receive €150 for water charges, yet an older person on the state pension will only receive €100.”
“For the first time since 1996, the Living Alone Allowance was increased but the increase of €1.30 is not in line with inflation over the past 18 years and will make very little difference to the 20% of older people who are at risk of deprivation or living in poverty,” said Moynihan.
He continued, “The reintroduction of the Christmas Bonus for older people is welcome. However, we would be more supportive of targeted relief for older people in need, rather than blanket token offerings Poverty is a year-round issue for older people in need, not just at Christmas”.
ALONE says that the majority of the older people they work with worked all of their lives, contributed to the economy and yet now, these are the people who are being forgotten when they are most in need.