Active Retirement Ireland (ARI), the country’s largest older people’s organisation, has today called on Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty to secure pension levels for older people and put an end to what it describes as “political games” around pensions and benefits each Budget.
Speaking at the Department of Social Protection’s annual pre-Budget Forum in Dublin Castle today (21.07.17), ARI’s Head of Communications and Public Affairs Peter Kavanagh said, “Every year older people have to wait and see whether Government sees it as politically expedient to increase pension levels, without any regard to rising costs and the net effect austerity has had on living standards. We need Minister Doherty to end these political games and ensure that older people have some kind of guarantee that their incomes will remain secure into the future.”
The organisation has called on the Minister to install a “triple-lock” system, similar to the UK’s, to ensure that pensions will rise by the higher of 2.5%, inflation, or growth in average earnings. ARI claims this will improve significantly the quality of life older people enjoy.
“If we can stop playing games with older people’s income every year, and guarantee them that the State Pension will remain an adequate social safety net, older people can then be secure in their ability to continue to contribute to society,” said Kavanagh . “After fulfilling their end of the social contract, it’s the least they deserve.”
Download the full submission to the Department of Social Protection here.