Active Retirement Ireland, the country’s largest older people’s organisation, has given a “cautious welcome” to the Budget measures announced today (09.10.18).
Reacting to Budget 2019, Peter Kavanagh, Head of Communications and Public Affairs at Active Retirement Ireland, said: “We’re giving this Budget a cautious welcome. It contains some measures that will help older people, but a lot remains to be done to ensure people can enjoy a good quality of life and appropriate healthcare supports as they age.
“The full restoration of the Christmas Bonus is a welcome measure. We are glad older people will be able to enjoy Christmas 2018 to its fullest, with a double payment to help with their Christmas shopping and to allow them socialise with family and friends during the festive season.
“Whilst we welcome the €5 pension increase, the delaying of its introduction until March 2019 effectively makes it a €3 increase. We are calling on Government to fully realise their commitment to a €5 increase and to introduce it at a sooner date.
Cost of healthcare
The Budget does not go far enough in making healthcare truly affordable and accessible for older people, Mr. Kavanagh said.
“We had been hoping for a range of measures to support older people, to remain healthy as they age and to remain living at home for as long as possible” he said. “Whilst the marginal reduction in prescription charges is welcome, the overall cost of healthcare for older people has not been addressed and we are disappointed that the Budget doesn’t contain measures to support and develop home-care options.”