Friday 17 August 2018

Your Budget: '€5 in a card would be disappointing'

Pensioner - Peggy Kearney

Pensioner Peggy Kearney at home in Ahane, Co Kerry. Photo: Domnick Walsh
Pensioner Peggy Kearney at home in Ahane, Co Kerry. Photo: Domnick Walsh

Peggy Kearney (69), from Ahane, Co Kerry, lives a modest life on the State pension with her husband Thomas Kearney (75).

"We survive on the pension, we don't drink, we don't smoke, and we live on what we have," she said.

Mrs Kearney said she was expecting "very little" from this year's Budget and feared that pensioners may be forgotten about. Speaking about the €5-a-week increase to the old-age pension, she said:"It's not very much, to be honest I think it is a bit of an insult.

"I mean, if you only stuck €5 in a child's Confirmation card they would be a bit disappointed, do you not think, it's hardly worth giving."

She welcomed the €2.50 increase in the telephone allowance, believing it would help reconnect elderly people with their family.

However, she is disappointed on its restrictions, which means it is only available to those receiving the living alone and fuel allowance. This means she will not be entitled, as she lives with her husband.

"The telephone allowance would be a big help, you could call the family again. It's disappointing I won't get it," she said.

One area Mrs Kearney was hoping to see addressed is the healthcare system, in particular the long waiting lists for operations and the delays in emergency rooms.

She welcomed the additional €685m in allocation to the Department of Health.

"Healthcare in this country is just a joke, I waited two-and-a-half years to have an operation to have the nerves on my neck killed off."

She was also happy to see an increase in an additional 1,800 staff in frontline healthcare services, but is worried it's not enough.

Irish Independent

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