Grey brigade bearing the brunt of austerity
* As head of our local community watch, I find the cut to the phone allowance a regressive step. It will surprise no one that this Government is going the extra mile in making life difficult for the most vulnerable, and you will not get more vulnerable than elderly people living alone, with the constant fear and threat of assault and robbery.
The problem lies in the lack of garda manpower and closure of rural garda stations that gives ruthless thugs a free rein to intimidate and frighten old people to an early grave. The elderly have been allotted an unfair share of these austerity measures. From short-changing on pensions to taxing savings. All the stops have been pulled out, making it more difficult to become eligible for a carer or home help. The abolition of the bereavement grant is a real low blow. The law was changed recently to allow burial wrapped in a sheet or blanket – was this done in anticipation of cutting the burial grant or is it just another attempt to get the last cent from our dead relatives?
Shiny new barriers have appeared outside the Dail, is this another sign that protesters with walking sticks and wheelchairs will be kept well back if protests by the grey brigade gather momentum after this Budget?