Older people must be protected from the impact of next week’s Budget, which will see a fiscal adjustment of around €2.5 billion, a Galway West TD has said.
Dep Brian Walsh is calling for the State pension to be retained at its current level and for associated benefits to be protected from the raft of spending cuts likely to be announced next Tuesday.
“Many older people are already struggling as a result of rising costs of essential goods and services, including light and heat,” he said. “They also had to incur the new taxes and charges introduced over the past two and a half years. It is absolutely vital they be fully insulated from further impact by budgetary cuts next week.”
He also called for the Household Benefits package to be protected from further erosion.
Dep Walsh went on to say that enough pain has been inflicted on the most vulnerable in society and that these sectors cannot reasonably be asked to give any more.
“In terms of cost-savings, the low hanging fruit has been picked at this stage and we now find ourselves well up the tree,” he said. “We must be careful and compassionate because we’re making decisions that have the potential to impact greatly on the most vulnerable.”
He added that a society is to be judged “by how it cares for its most vulnerable”. “Older people have made their contribution to society,” said Dep Walsh. “They have earned the right to a level of security, comfort and access to services in their older years