Active Retirement Ireland has welcomed the fact there will be no reduction in the State Pension over the coming 12 months.
Speaking in the wake of the Budget announcement today (07.12.10), Maureen Kavanagh, Chief Executive of Active Retirement Ireland, said: "We are giving a cautious welcome to Budget 2011. In particular, we welcome the fact the old-age pension will remain at the same level over the coming year.
"We are also happy to see the Government has included an additional payment of €40 to households in receipt of the fuel allowance payment, to help them to cope with the challenges brought about by the current cold weather. This is something we had called for in January of this year, when those who depend on the fuel allowance to heat their homes were left in a very vulnerable position as a result of the prolonged cold snap."
While welcoming these budget measures, Active Retirement Ireland said it was important to acknowledge that older people will be just as affected by cutbacks over the coming years as other sections of the population.
"It would be wrong to think older people have emerged unscathed from this budget process," said Maureen Kavanagh. "We know there is going to be a pension freeze over the next four years as a result of the National Recovery Plan. At the same time, the tax increases announced in today's Budget - and additional increases in VAT and carbon taxes due over the next couple of years - means pensioners will be faced with rising charges, and many will continue to struggle to make ends meet.
"This once again brings uncertainty about the future - there is still a fear factor amongst older people as to how they will survive financially over the coming years."