Labour Blog

Labour Blog

Supporting older people - Budget 2015

Posted on November 10, 2014 at 04:13 PM

People around the country are, now and, at last, beginning to feel the benefit of the recovery and we want older people to be fully part of that recovery. Under Budget 2015, we have introduced a number of additional measures that will help support older people and ensure that they feel the benefit of the emerging recovery.

Christmas Bonus Returns This Year at 25% Rate

Christmas can be a time of greater financial strain for families. Under Budget 2015, we have secured a Christmas bonus of 25% for all people on long-term social welfare payments, including pensioners. This payment will benefit over 1.16 million people.

Living Alone Allowance Increase

Under Budget 2015, the Living Alone Allowance will increase by €1.30 per week, bringing the rate up from €7.70 to €9. This is a payment for both pensioners and people disabilities living alone. This is the first increase in this payment since 1996, and will benefit over 177,000 people.

Ending the Pension Levy

Pensioners have made a significant contribution to our economic recovery in recent years. The 0.6% Pension levy was introduced to help fund the Jobs Initiative. It played an important role in the positive jobs’ trend with 72,000 new jobs created since the peak of the crisis in 2012. The 0.6% Pension Levy will end in 2014 and the additional 0.15% Pension Levy will expire at the end of 2015.

Seniors Alert Scheme

€133m is being invested under Budget 2015 in Community programmes, including €46m for the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) and €45 million for LEADER. This includes funding for seniors alert, which supports the provision of monitored alarms to enable older persons, of limited means, to continue to live securely in their homes with confidence

Free GP Care for the Over 70s

Budget 2015 has confirmed that the over 70s will be prioritised in the next phase of the roll out of free GP care. In 2015, over 2.1 million people - nearly half the population - will have a medical or GP visit card and this includes our extension of GP coverage to the Over 70s.

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