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State pension bump of €5 being considered ahead of Budget 2018

An across-the-board increase is reportedly being considered.

Image: Shutterstock/Sinart Creative

A €5- A-WEEK increase in the old age pension would go some way to reversing cuts made during austerity budgets, according to a group representing older people.

Age Action said it would welcome such an increase after The Sunday Independent reported that Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty is to seek a pension bump of at least €5 in the upcoming budget.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar previously pledged to increase the pension but did not give any specific commitment on the level of the increase.

Today’s report states that a €5 increase is being considered across-the-board.

As of 10 March, the current State Pension Contributory rates in Ireland are as follows:

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welfare Source: welfare.ie

Reacting to a potential weekly increase, Age Action’s Justin Moran said pensioners are struggling.

“The incomes of older people on the State pension and the household benefits package have still not recovered from cuts in multiple austerity budgets,” he said.

Poverty rates among older people have been rising consistently. A €5 increase in October’s budget would be welcomed by older people struggling with increased costs and rising property taxes.

The government changed the eligibility criteria for a full pension back in 2012, which is currently paid at a rate of €238.30 per week to those aged 66 to 80.

Read: The pension is definitely going up and Micheál Martin has dismissed claims he’s opposed to rises >

Read: ‘They simply can’t afford it’: Older people being priced out of nursing homes >

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Rónán Duffy

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