The Budget

Friday 1 August 2014

Axing my phone allowance will hurt most

Published 16/10/2013|13:47

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BUDGET PROFILE - OAP - Marie Colgan pictured at her Glasnevin Home yesterday.
Marie Colgan

Pensioner Marie Colgan (73) is very disappointed at the loss of her €114 telephone allowance.

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Marie needs a landline in her home so she can keep in touch via Skype with a daughter who lives abroad .

The mum-of-five, from Glasnevin, said: "In this day and age, most people have someone abroad and they are dependent on Skype to keep in touch."

However, Marie expressed relief that she would be able to keep her medical card because her earnings are under the €500-a-week limit. If she was above that threshold for a single person, her medical card would have been downgraded to a GP visit card.

"I would have been concerned about that, as I have asthma and osteoporosis," she said.

And the grandmother-of-eight added she had sympathy for other pensioners who stand to lose their medical card as a result of the Budget. "When people have got used to it, it's very hard to go back to not having it," she said.

Despite that bonus, Marie is still facing increased prescription costs -- the Budget has seen an increase in the pharmacy fee from €1.50 to €2.50.

She was also bitterly disappointed that the death grant to help cover funeral costs, which is worth €850 to the families of the deceased, is being scrapped.

"That was a great help when I was widowed last year," she explained. "I am sorry for those that will lose that in the future."

Marie said that she believes she would be most affected by the loss of her telephone allowance, particularly because she does not receive a fuel allowance.

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