Fianna Fáil bye-election candidate for Carlow – Kilkenny Bobby Aylward has said the Government is continuing its policy of singling out older people in communities for cutbacks.
Mr Aylward made the comments after a recent meeting of the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party held in Kilkenny City. The special meeting was attended by TD’s and Senators and heard from local community resource groups who raised concerns about the impact of cutbacks on older people.
Speaking following the meeting Mr Aylward said, “The Government has treated older people in our communities with contempt since coming to office. People feel that Fine Gael and Labour have betrayed them. This is not surprising when you add up the impact of Government cutbacks on the most vulnerable in our communities.
“From speaking with local community resource groups and people on the doors over the course of my campaign it is clear that older people are finding it increasingly difficult to access healthcare. The removal of medical cards and the massive hike imposed by the Government on prescription charges has meant that many older people have to forgo vital healthcare.
“The abolition of the telephone allowance, the increase in DIRT tax savings and the scrapping of the bereavement grant also amounts to a disgraceful attack on older people. These people have worked for decades, paid their taxes and made a huge contribution to society and the economy. We should be recognising their enormous contribution to our country, but instead they are now being left out of the cold by this Government.
“The cutbacks introduced by the Government are also having a wider impact on families. Sons and daughters are worried about the uncertain future that is in store for their parents following the withdrawal of healthcare supports and rising crime due to Garda cutbacks. They need to be given comfort and know that their Government is working to support all people in our community.
“It is time for Fine Gael and Labour to end its attack on older people. If elected I will work to ensure all people in our community are given the respect and recognition that they deserve” said Mr Aylward.