Fianna Fáil TD for Roscommon-Galway Eugene Murphy has said older people, particularly those reliant on the state pension, have yet to feel the benefits of the economic recovery, with many struggling to make ends meet.

Deputy Murphy explained, “There is a perception that older people have not been impacted by the recession and were insulated from the cuts to benefits and services. However, that’s simply not the case. Older people across Roscommon and Galway suffered a range of cuts to secondary benefits including the abolition of the Telephone Allowance and the Bereavement Grant and a reduction in the Fuel Allowance and the Household Benefits Package.

“On top of this they had to cope with the implementation of new charges including water charges, property tax and increases in the prescription charge.  It’s disingenuous to argue that older people were not impacted by the recession. Many older people, particularly those solely reliant on the State Pension, have seen their incomes vastly reduced and are now struggling to make ends meet.

“The €3 increase in the State Pension, which was brought in in the last Budget was wholly insufficient – especially for older people who live alone.  Many of them have to cope with the same costs as a two person household, including the same heating, electricity and insurance costs. It is essential that this is recognised in the upcoming Budget and I along with my Fianna Fáil colleagues will be pushing for a fair and progressive package for older people.

“It is imperative that economic recovery is just and balanced and felt by all sections of society not just the privileged few”.