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26 County Government ‘leaving pensioners in the cold’

category national | irish social forum | news report author Wednesday November 22, 2006 17:09author by Seán Ó Murchú - Sinn Féin Poblachtach - Cork Report this post to the editors

THE 26 County Government has been condemned for its refusal to raise the income levels for social welfare fuel allowances, despite almost 210,000 pensioners being left out in the cold.

Just 16,000 of the Free State’s 225,458 contributory pensioners, or 7%, are eligible for the fuel allowance.

THE 26 County Government has been condemned for its refusal to raise the income levels for social welfare fuel allowances, despite almost 210,000 pensioners being left out in the cold.

Just 16,000 of the Free State’s 225,458 contributory pensioners, or 7%, are eligible for the fuel allowance.

Age Action Ireland is calling for the criteria for fuel allowance to be revised. The organisation has pointed out that, currently, a person is ineligible for the allowance (€14 a week) if they receive the State Contributory pension (€193.30) and earn more than €50.79 extra per week.

The recent increases in gas, electricity, coal and turf mean that people who are refused the allowance can still face huge financial difficulties to pay their fuel bills.

Age Action believes the eligibility conditions should also take into account the quality of housing of applicants, as poor housing can cost more to heat.

“Everyone should be warm this winter, regardless of whether they are rich or poor,” said Eamon Timmins of Age Action. “The fuel allowance is really only a supplement for an inadequate pension, and serves to help people who would otherwise be torn between paying for food or fuel.”

Age Action also wants the current 29-week payment period for the fuel allowance to be extended. In its pre-Budget submission, it urged the 26 County Government to increase the weekly payment from €14 to €25.

While 26 County Social and Family Affairs Minister Seamus Brennan pledged an extra €50 million for fuel allowances in 2007, the Society of St Vincent de Paul says this would need to be trebled in order to help all with their heating costs.

A spokesperson from the MacCurtain/McSwiney Cumann, Sinn Fein Poblachtach, Cork said the Estimates showed the 26 County Government to be “a big spender who cannot deliver real improvements for those who need it. Almost 210,000 of our contributory pensioners are being left out in the cold in yet another example of this Government’s inability to target resources where they are needed, despite spending a fortune of taxpayers’ money.”

Related Link: http://www.rsfcork.com
author by Ronniepublication date Wed Nov 22, 2006 20:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Should this not be in the press release section?

author by Pint of Plain Irishpublication date Thu Nov 23, 2006 12:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The mindlessly repetitive 26-county references sprinkled from beginning to end of the text completely destroy whatever point it was you thought you might be making

author by 26 countypublication date Thu Nov 23, 2006 20:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

..but it is the 26 county government. Why should making refrence to that fact detract from the statement in any way? Are people so anti-Republican these days that they cant even aknowledge the content ?I see this all the time online where people will dismiss RSF and Republicanism out of hand without having ANY idea of what their policies/politics are. The above wass a good statement about an important issue, If it originated from another political grouping there'd be people falling over themselves to say great job.

author by Pint of Plain Irishpublication date Thu Nov 23, 2006 22:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

No, it reads like a schoolchild's first political outing and, whatever the actual issue it pretends to, distracts completely with this counties nonsense. Real republicanism should respect the issues, not use them as kite strings - re = rule, publica = of the people. If this loonatic fringe party is actually trying to engage with the electorate then it should respect the government it aspires to.

author by 26 countypublication date Fri Nov 24, 2006 00:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"whatever the actual issue it pretends to"

Do you have trouble with basic reading comprehension skills? Are you gonna even try to address the actual content/subject matter of this posting by RSF? Or is silly pettiness all you're capable of?

They are correct to call it the 26 counties as that is the exact number of counties within this partitioned state.

author by Sharon. - Individual.publication date Fri Nov 24, 2006 00:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

" Real republicanism should respect the issues..."

Does the administration in Leinster House claim jurisdiction over the whole isle ? If not , then why shy away from this issue ?

Sharon .

Related Link: http://1169andcounting.blogspot.com
author by Johnpublication date Fri Nov 24, 2006 10:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Since you're a 32-County organisation, why don't you give the figures for pensions in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (oops, I forgot, to you they're still the 26-county state and the 6-county state). The reality is that, after the forthcoming budget on Dec 6, the old-age pension in the ROI will be 200 euros, or about 140 pounds sterling. In NI and the UK its about 80 pounds sterling. Plus pensioners here gets lots of free perks, travel, tv licenses etc, which are not available to anything like the same extent in NI and the UK.

author by observerpublication date Fri Nov 24, 2006 11:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

So what are you proposing? Are you calling on the government to address the situation [ "sitch-ay-shun"]? If so, can you not refer to the country as the Irish Republic or Ireland and the government with the correct title, the Irish Government?

If you don't recognise the government and aim to remove it through undemocratic means, I don't see much of a future for pensioners in that case.

Also, this "Free State" nonsense is ludicrous? What century are you living in?

author by Caobhinpublication date Fri Nov 24, 2006 14:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Your odious parasitic FF/PD heroes have been stealing from pensioners and turfing them into privatised torture institutions and all you can froth about is the due honour and respect due to the grocers republic? We all know what century you would like to live in.

author by Pint of Plain Irishpublication date Sat Nov 25, 2006 18:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

And your very own type of odious 26 + 6 =/= 32 heroes spraying sectarian graffiti and incendiary devices into what there is of an Assembly is somehow a model of political activism? I don't think so. If you want progress on social justice then stick with the issue, not the bigotry. Grow up and join a political party instead of getting pissed watching reruns of Wind the Shakes the Barley or even (God forbid that you might dirty your own fair hands) help out an old person once in a while.

author by Seaicilín Fpublication date Sun Nov 26, 2006 23:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

“Age Action also wants the current 29-week payment period for the fuel allowance to be extended. In its pre-Budget submission, it urged the 26 County Government to increase the weekly payment from €14 to €25.”

€14.00 per week is not enough for fuel allowance for the elderly, and this should at the very least be doubled, taking into account the high rise in fuel costs and the fact that elderly people feel the cold more than others, therefore, require more heating. Also, the State pension isn’t enough to sustain them, it should also be increased - the funds are there, the Leinster House Administration is always blowing about how healthy their finances are.

The Leinster House Administration seem to have no problem wasting millions of everyone’s money on ill thought out schemes such as: the Electronic Voting System, the HSE’s PPARS Project (a personnel payroll computerised system which didn’t quite pay personnel), the Millennium Clock which never did survive the Millennium, and the money pumped into the race horse industry which was clearly never running out of funds, and not in such dire need as those elderly who are struggling to keep warm this winter and suffering as a result of the Scrooge mentality of the Leinster House Administration - evidenced by the fact that they receive such a penny-pinching fuel allowance from them.

It’s a bad state of affairs that we have to put up with an Administration which has no interest in seeing that the elderly are cared for properly and turn a blind eye to the abuse that some have suffered, and have ignored those that are suffering from physical and/or mental disabilities and who are put away in homes and forgotten about with very little attention and finances put in to fund efforts at improving their situation or environment.

Well done to Sinn Féin Poblachtach for highlighting the plight of the elderly who are suffering at the hands of an uncaring Administration.

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