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Irish pensioners made to choose between heat and food need extra €5 a week

Age Action is calling for increases to the State pension and the living alone allowance.

Image: Shutterstock/PathDoc

Updated at 10:56pm

IRELAND’S PENSIONERS ARE hoping for an increase in the State pension for the first time in six years.

In their pre-budget submission, Age Action is calling for an increase in funding when Budget 2016 is announced next month.

The charity has targeted a €5 increase to the State pension and a €2.40 increase in the living alone allowance.

Together these two measures would cost €142.5 million.

How have cuts impacted older people? 

Speaking about their demands, Justin Moran, head of advocacy and communications at Age Action, said, “Since 2009 an older person depending on the State pension and the Household Benefits package has seen their income cut by more than €13 a week.”

“They’re struggling to pay new taxes along with rising fuel and health costs. Pensioners in this country should not be forced to choose between paying for medicine and keeping the heat on,” he went on.

Since 2009 there has also been a reduction in the number of hours that people aged over 85 have received in home help.

The group has said that greater funding would allow individuals to stay in their own homes for longer, rather than being moved to nursing homes.

What do they want? 

As part of their submission, Age Action is hoping for a number of changes to be made to funding.

Besides the change to the living alone allowance and the State pension, it also hopes that the telephone allowance will be restored over the next two budgets.

An additional €26 million investment in home help services is also being requested, as well as an extra €7 million for 550 home care packages.

First published at 7:40pm

Read: People on the dole to see 50% increase in their Christmas bonus this year

Also: PHOTOS: 80-something graffiti artists hit the streets in Portugal

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