ALONE began submitting full pre-budget proposals, urging governments to take urgent action on behalf of the elderly, stating that the recurring cost of living increases are unsustainable and the situation is now a “crisis” for many seniors. It is said that it is becoming a target.
The recent surge in energy and food prices, especially the recently announced price hikes from energy suppliers, is of particular concern and has led to an increasing number of older people seeking help alone in these areas.
ALONE recently conducted an anonymous survey of seniors they work with. Here is the answer:
Heating and utility bills are the top concern for 92% of seniors, followed by food costs (67%) and home maintenance (such as broken appliances) (32%).
Nearly three-quarters were ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ concerned about the cost of living
Nearly two-thirds worry about having trouble paying their bills
· When asked, “What do you think the government should do with the next budget to support the elderly?” ) and then “pay more to more vulnerable members”. Society” (63%), and “Reduction of taxes such as VAT and excise tax” were his fourth.
Several people specifically stated that as they get older they worry and fear about their future and worry about what to do if things go wrong.
One respondent said, “I’m worried that I won’t be able to heat or eat in the winter,” while another said, “For the first time in my life, I feared the cost.”
The situation is becoming unsustainable for many. ALONE has received reports of senior citizens turning off refrigerators and not using gas stoves because the cost is too high. Older adults also report eating less basic meals because meat-based meals and detergents are too expensive.
Already, seniors worry that they won’t be able to afford storage heaters this winter.
ALONE calls on the government to increase the state pension, living allowance and fuel allowance by at least 20 euros a week each, and to introduce further measures across social protection, health and housing to support the elderly. I’m here. From winter through 2023.
CEO Seán Moynihan said: People aged 65 and over were the only group to see an increase in all three poverty rates between 2020 and 2021.
Now, some seniors say they fear rising costs for the first time in their lives. The elderly have been promised better than this, but so far that promise has not been kept. ”
He continues: Don’t let age be a battlefield. We believe everyone should have a decent standard of living, including the elderly.
“We have to take into account that there are currently around 92,000 elderly people living in poverty or at risk of poverty in Ireland. That’s more than the numbers put together.
“Elderly people who live alone have the lowest median income of all households, and those who live in rural areas are unable to meet even the bare minimum standard of living on their income. No one should accept this. not.
“The stereotype that all seniors are wealthy and stable does not, and will not, reflect the population today. , “Old and Young”, “Haves” and “Have-Nots”. At ALONE, for example, we still see cases of elderly people who do not have indoor toilets in their homes. ”
ALONE’s recommendations for 2023 budget submissions include:
· Increase the national pension by at least 20 euros this year and next.
· Set the fuel allowance season to 35 weeks, with 20 euro increments per week, to minimize the impact of energy inflation and repeated increases in energy suppliers.
· Commit to benchmarking the lone allowance to a quarter of the national pension, increasing by €20 per week, as older people living alone (especially those living in rural areas) are particularly vulnerable to poverty.
· Update, fund and implement the National Positive Aging Strategy, which has not been funded since it was introduced over a decade ago.
· Establishing the Commission’s terms of reference for care promised in government programs, but with significant delays.
· In light of the future statutory housing support system, we will make the housing support system a resource in order to meet the increasing demand.
· Consider reopening day care centers nationwide, as about 50 day care centers remain closed post-COVID.
€5 million in funding to address loneliness in the general public, as promised in government programs, and to take into account increased loneliness post-COVID.
Joint Policy Statement, to fully implement and fund actions related to housing options for an aging population, and to renew the implementation group, given that a significant number of actions remain incomplete. convene.
· Develop a long-term plan for housing for the elderly, including the private rental sector.
· Conduct a complete review of local government housing supply action plans in relation to the provision of public housing for the elderly.
· Provide financing mechanisms to provide housing options for the elderly and to provide support for housing.
Increase funding for housing adaptation subsidies for the elderly to €84.5 million annually, with a commitment to multi-year increases
Moynihan added: Budget 2023 is a turning point. Budgets are a major source of hope for many seniors ahead of what was said to be a very difficult winter this year.
“We urge governments to make the right decisions this year. Increased support in the 2023 budget will be extremely helpful for older people experiencing poverty and deprivation in light of the ongoing cost of living crisis. It is important.”