Monday 19 March 2018

CASE STUDY: Mairead Hayes

Charlie Weston

THERE is a huge risk that the inter-generational solidarity that has served us so well has been diminished.

That is the view of Mairead Hayes, chief executive of the Senior Citizens' Parliament, a representative group for older people.

"We are concerned at what we see as concentrated targeting of older people in the Budget.

"There is an element of creating inter-generational strife going on," she says.

There is particular concern among older people about the change in the income criteria for the granting of medical cards to the over-70s.

The loss of the telephone allowance, which was part of the household budget package of benefits, is another bone of contention.


And the changes to the tax reliefs that apply to health insurance policies is another budgetary change that is set to have a big impact on older people.

The health plans that were traditionally bought by older people are getting more expensive, even without the latest tax relief changes.

This is happening at a time when health insurers offer better value on plans, favoured by younger people, where there is less cover for the likes of hip replacements and knee operations, Ms Hayes says.

The continuation of the levy on private sector defined benefit and defined contribution pensions is also impacting hard on the more mature members of society, she adds.

"The levy should be repealed," she contends.

Another issue is the gradual raising of the age at which people qualify for the state pension – which starts to take effect from next year.

More should be done to allow people who are 62 years old, and above, to claim the dole.

"These people are special cases. They are actively seeking work, but there are no jobs," she adds.

Irish Independent

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