Age Action tell IMF of the reality of life for older people in Ireland
An Age Action delegation today met with the International Monetary Fund in Dublin to highlight the impact which austerity measures and cutbacks were having on older people.
The national older people’s charity had sought the meeting following comments in an IMF report on March 2ndwhich proposed cuts in the universal supports for older people (such as free travel and free gas/electricity units for over-70s) and called for an assessment of the “appropriateness of the real state pension rate”.
“We gave the IMF’s representative an overview of the reality of life in Ireland in 2012 for many pensioners,” Age Action spokesman Eamon Timmins said. “We highlighted the importance of universal supports for older people such as the travel pass and the Medical Card, and listed all the cuts and new charges which older people on low, fixed incomes were now struggling to pay.
“We explained the distress which speculation about the State Pension, the travel pass and free fuel units were causing to people who depended on these for their well being.”
Age Action also stressed the key role which the State Pension plays in keeping older people out of poverty. It is the main source of income for the majority of State Pensioners.
“We are grateful that the IMF agreed to meet us to hear about the difficulties faced by pensioners in Ireland,” Age Action chief executive Robin Webster said. “The IMF’s resident representative in Ireland, Peter Breuer, listened attentively and assured us that the issues raised at the meeting would be sent on to Washington, along with the detailed briefing document we provided.”
FOR MEDIA QUERIES CONTACT EAMON TIMMINS, HEAD OF ADVOCACY AND COMMUNICATIONS, AGE ACTION, 087-9682449