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Budget reaction: 'Older people betrayed' 16.10.13

FIANNA FÁIL T.D., Charlie McConalogue has accused the Government of "betraying older people" in Budget 2014.
He said the Fine Gael/Labour coalition had singled out pensioners for the worst of the cuts next year, with a dramatic reduction in medical cards, a hike in prescription charges, the abolition of the telephone allowance, increased tax on savings and the scrapping of the Bereavement Grant.
Donegal North East TD, Charlie McConalogue.
“These are people who have worked for decades, paid their taxes and made a significant contribution to society and the economy. And now in their older years they are seeing vital supports taken from them.
“The dramatic cut in the medical card eligibility means that a total of 100,000 older people will lose their full medical cards. On top of that, there is a huge hike in prescription charges to €2.50. That’s a five-fold increase from the original charge of 50 cent which James Reilly promised to abolish when he was appointed Minister for Health." The Inishowen deputy said the axing of the telephone allowance adds to the security risks of older people across Co Donegal who can often feel isolated and vulnerable in their homes. "For many people, their phone is linked to their home and personal security alarms. When the telephone allowance is scrapped many older people won’t be able to keep their landlines and they will be forced to give up that important element of their personal security," he said. He said the Government had also "targeted people's nest eggs" that they had worked for years to accumulate with the 8% DIRT hike.
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