43,000 join call for pension protections
MORE than 43,000 people have signed a petition calling for the defence of the state pension and other supports for older people, which was handed into Government buildings yesterday.
The 43,533 petitions were collected by Older & Bolder, an alliance of eight organisations representing and working with older people.
Older & Bolder spokeswoman Patricia Conboy said older people would struggle to withstand any further erosion of the state pension or other assistance. Recent research carried out by Older and Bolder found examples of the elderly struggling to make do with barely enough, such as watering down their milk, heating only one room in their home, and using branches and clippings from the fire for fuel.
The Older and Bolder alliance welcomed the indication in the four-year plan published last week that the state pension may escape a direct cut in the forthcoming Budget.
It attributed this to the 40,000 people who have signed the petition to defend the state pension over the course of a two month campaign.
Ms Conboy said "the acid test will be what happens to older people's pensions and basic supports in the Budget in December". She said elements of the plan which were causing concern included:
- VAT increase by 1pc in 2013 and a further 1pc in 2014.
- Water metering.
- Estimated doubling in carbon tax over four years.
- Interim Site Value Tax, fixed local service contribution of €100 per annum.