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New waste charges 'another stealth tax' that will hurt the elderly most

Tue, Feb 09, 2016

The end of the waiver system in Galway will see many of the city's most vulnerable having to pay €170 extra a year for refuse services, while changes to the refuse system across the State have been branded by a local councillor as yet another "stealth charge".

More than 2,000 Galwegians will have to pay the €170 extra this year. Independent Galway West TD Noel Grealish, says these will disproportionately be households with limited means, particularly older people. He estimates that end of the waiver brings bills, services, and charges for such people to c€1,000 - a cost exacerbated by the scrapping of the phone allowance, a cut in the free fuel allowance, the reduction in the free electricity allowance, the hike in prescription charges from c50 to €2.50, water charges, and the property tax.

“It is mistakenly believed older people have been kept safe from the austerity measures because the maximum State pension was not reduced," Dep Grealish said at an election hustings in the Westwood Hotel, organised by Age Action and Active Retirement Ireland. "The vast majority of these people were on a fixed income and do not have the capacity to increase their earnings."


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