Working in the Community, Working for the Community

Category Archives: Age Action Ireland

Deputy Seamus Healy has condemned Tánaiste Joan Burton for one of the meanest cuts yet.
Having insulted pensioners with a miserly €3 per week budget increase she now has instructed officers of the Department of Social Welfare to cut that €3 from sick pensioners who require a Special Diet.
Hard to believe – yes, Well I am attaching a copy of the cut notification received by a 90 year old pensioner (personal details are excluded).
This is one of the many cuts targeting pensioners such as abolition of telephone allowance, reduction in household benefits package, reduction in fuel allowance, increased prescription charges, abolition of the bereavement grant and the list goes on.
Deputy Healy has called on Labour Party Tánaiste Joan Burton T.D. to reverse this cut immediately.


Seamus Healy TD ​​
087 2802199


The most consistent and angriest complaint on the door steps is of broken promises and the resultant targeting of those on low and middle incomes for cuts and new taxes.
When considering promises and announcements by Labour and Fine Gael in this General Election Campaign, voters are considering what happened to the promises they made in the last General Election Campaign.

The Public have been pointing out to me the litany of broken promises which include:

St. Michael’s Unit.

At a local level, Labour Leader Eamonn Gilmore, promised to protect South Tipperary General Hospital. Labour Minister, Kathleen Lynch, in government, closed down St Michael’s Psychiatric Unit in Clonmel and transferred it to Kilkenny.

Hospital Trolleys

We will “end the scandal of Hospital Trolleys” said Enda Kenny. The result is Trolley Chaos in our Emergency Departments, the closure of 2,000 hospital beds, the loss of 11,000 health staff and the loss of 2 million home help hours.
Water Tax

Through the 2011 General Election TESCO AD and in its election manifesto, The Labour Party promised to prevent the introduction of domestic water tax. In government they agreed to introduce this tax and Minister Alan Kelly is now implementing it.

Child Benefit

In the 2011 General Election Tesco AD, the Labour Party said it would prevent Fine Gael reducing Child Benefit. Labour leader Joan Burton, in government, did the opposite and cut Child Benefit.


Fine Gael Leader, Enda Kenny, said “ It Is Morally Wrong, Unjust and Unfair to Tax a Person’s Home”. But in Government, he introduced this unfair tax.

Lone Parents

Speaking in the Dáil on 18th April 2012, Minister Joan Burton said she would only proceed with plans to reform the One Parent Family Payment by 2014/15 if she got a “credible and bankable commitment” by the time of Budget 2013 that the Irish Government would put in place “a system of safe, affordable and accessible child care, similar to what is found in the Scandinavian countries to whose systems of social protection we aspire”.
Minister Burton went ahead with the changes without any such child care system being in place.


Enda Kenny promised to increase the Garda Force by 2,000 Gardaí. The result was 2,000 less Gardaí, 130 Garda Station closed and increased levels of rural crime.

Heating Allowances

Then there was the Labour Manifesto promise to invest in ending fuel poverty which causes unnecessary deaths of older people every winter. “However, Labour will also take immediate action to alleviate the risk of fuel poverty in the short term by reinvesting €40 million from the
carbon tax to alleviate fuel poverty, and by developing a national fuel
poverty strategy as set out in Labour’s Fuel Poverty and Energy
Conservation Bill.” Labour Party Manifesto 2011.
Instead, the heating allowances were cut by the Labour Leader
The Public are fed up of broken promises. They are taking the recent spate of promises from all the political parties with a large dose of salt.

The Door Steps say Don’t Believe Them and Don’t Let It Happen Again!

Seamus Healy TD
Tel : 087-2802199


Government must drop plans for USC hike for older people – Age Action

Age Action has warned the Government that its plans to increase the rate of Universal Social Charge (USC) for pensioners and medical card holders from 4% to 7% from  January would cause untold hardship among a section of society which is already struggling to make ends meet.

“During our consultations with older people across Ireland in recent months we heard time and again from older people who are being forced to choose between food, fuel and medications,” Age Action spokesperson Eamon Timmins said. “This unacceptable situation is a result of increasing demands on their fixed pensions from new taxes and charges.  Another hike in the USC would push some older people over the edge.”

The older people’s charity noted that the reduced rate of 4% for people aged over-70 and medical card holders under-70 was introduced in 2011 and was due to expire at the start of 2015, as reported in today’s Irish Independent.  But it urged the Government to reverse this decision and maintain the reduced rate.

“Given the hardship which older people on low incomes are facing, it would be ludicrous to scrap the reduced rate, knowing the suffering it would cause,” Mr Timmins said. “This government was elected on the promise that it would protect the vulnerable.  If it is serious about honouring this promise, it cannot introduce yet another tax hike, and take more money out of the pockets of low income pensioners.”

Age Action has called on the Government to make a definitive statement, before the European and local elections, that the 4% reduced rate, and those eligible for it, will remain unchanged and that plans to increase it to 7% will be dropped.

Age Action’s consultations with older people across Ireland highlighted the huge financial pressure that many were facing.  From their fixed pensions (and falling pensions in the case of some older people), they are paying a long list of new taxes and charges including property tax, hiked prescription charges, soaring fuel bills (with cuts to their fuel supports), rising telephone charges (following the abolition of the phone allowance last year), and rising medical costs (for older people in poor health who are losing their medical cards on income grounds).


May 16, 2014


Eamon Timmins

Head of Advocacy and Communications at Age Action Ireland Ltd | 30/31 Lr Camden Street | Dublin 2

Tel: 01 4756989 | Fax: 01 4756011 | Email: |


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