Monday 14 October 2019

Minister blames Brexit for likely lack of pension increase in the Budget

Warning: Finian McGrath told ministers to ‘go the extra mile’. Photo: David Conachy
Warning: Finian McGrath told ministers to ‘go the extra mile’. Photo: David Conachy
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

MINISTER Finian McGrath has blamed Brexit for the likely lack of a pension increase in the Budget.

The €5-per-week increase in the State pension that has been a feature of Budgets in recent years is off the table.

Independent Alliance junior minister Mr McGrath said he doesn't know the final decision on the matter, and added that it will be made by Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe.

But he said: "All the indications are that’s the situation."

He blamed: "the very difficult situation at the moment with Brexit" and added: "it looks like it could be a hard border and that’s something we have to brace ourselves [for].

"I think that’s something the public are aware of."

Speaking to RTE Radio, he said that instead of an increase to the pension: "What we’re doing is we’re targeting prescription charges and possible medical cards for older people, the living alone allowance, fuel allowances, things like that that will help them."

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