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Higher rate of Invalidity Pension to be phased out

A higher level of payment offered within the scheme is to be cut for certain recipients.

CHANGES TO THE Invalidity Pension scheme have been announced by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform today, with the higher rate previously offered to some recipients being gradually faded out.

The Invalidity Pension is a weekly payment afforded to people covered by social insurance who cannot work due to long-term illness or disability. Until now, the payment has totalled €193.50 a week for under-65s, with that payment being raised to €230.50 a week for those aged 65-66.

The higher rate will now be abolished for all but those currently availing of it, Minister Brendan Howlin today announced.

A spokesman for Age Action Ireland said it was unclear how many people this change would affect, due to those aged over 66 being eligible to move on to a state pension – but, by the same measure, queried how much the change could be saving the State.

“I’m not sure how much money they expect to save with this,” he said. “It’s another case of hitting older people and the most vulnerable.”

Read: Budget 2014: the key things to know from today’s announcement
LIVEBLOG: Budget 2014 as it happens
IN FULL: Michael Noonan’s Budget 2014 speech
IN FULL: Brendan Howlin’s Budget 2014 speech

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