Fine Gael TD in Dun Laoghaire Mary Mitchell O’Connor has highlighted Fine Gael’s plans to support older people in Dun Laoghaire and ensure that older years are better years. The plan will safeguard and improve State entitlements for older people, and will provide enhanced supports for older people to live independently in their homes amongst their own communities in Dun Laoghaire.
“Fine Gael has a Long Term Economic Plan to keep the recovery going in Dun Laoghaire with three connected steps: more and better jobs; making work pay; and investment in better services.
“Today we are focusing on services to support older people. We plan to ensure that older years are better years. Our package of measures for older people is worth €870 million, and is the second largest commitment in our Long Term Economic Plan after the abolition of USC.
“Fine Gael wants Ireland to be one of the best countries in the world in which to grow old. We can achieve this if we keep the recovery going and create the resources to support better public services.
“There are five key elements to our plan to support Dun Laoghaire’s aging population:
- Older people can be confident that State entitlements will be safeguarded and improved as the economic recovery continues. This includes their medical card; free travel; an increase of €25 in the State Pension by 2021; an extra €5 for the Living Alone Allowance by 2021; and a cap on the prescription charge at €17.50, which represents a 30% reduction.
- Enhanced supports for older people will allow them to live independently in their homes for longer. These include 2.2 million more home help hours and increases in housing adaption grants and senior alert grants.
- More care will be provided in the community which will benefit older people. This includes building more primary care centres; providing additional front line staff in the health system; and ensuring that chronic conditions can be cared for closer to home.
- The Fair Deal Scheme waiting list will be kept to four weeks for those who need residential care.
- Finally, older people can be confident that their voice will be heard. We will establish a Citizens’ Assembly to discuss and plan for the needs of our ageing population.
“In 2007, Fianna Fáil promised to increase the State pension to €300. Instead they presided over a catastrophic economic crash and decided to cut the Christmas bonus, a move that really affected vulnerable older people.
“By contrast, Fine Gael’s Long Term Economic Plan to keep the recovery going will ensure that older years are better years, as we spread the benefits of the recovery to everyone and ensure that older people across Dun Laoghaire can experience meaningful improvements to their quality of life.”