Deputy Michael Lowry has stated that this Government should immediately reverse the “lousy and cruel” telephone allowance cut.
The Independent Deputy called for a row back on the vicious cut introduced in Budget 2014 which he stated would have a devastating effect on the security, safety and peace of mind of older people.
Deputy Michael Lowry stated: “The Minister should drop this proposal as it’s petty, mean spirited and has led to a wave of anxiety amongst older people. The removal of fixed line telephone allowances compromises the safety and security of elderly people because personal alarm systems will become dysfunctional.”
“Many elderly people in Tipperary live in very remote and rural areas. The telephone is an essential tool to allow them to live independently. Many do not have use of mobile phones or do not have adequate coverage for mobile phones. The Government is completely out of touch if they expect pensioners to now turn to mobile devises for their personal alarms.”
“The elderly are hugely reliant on the telephone to keep contact with family and friends. The reassurance of immediate contact through a telephone gives piece of mind particular to elderly who are isolated and lonely. It is of huge benefit for an elderly person to know that they can pick up the phone and immediately speak to someone or seek help in times of distress.”
Deputy Lowry added: “We must stand up for the elderly in our community who have earned the right to be treated with dignity and respect. These are the people who have built our nation and worked diligently throughout their lives. They are not responsible for the current crisis and must not be scapegoated by this Government. It is my firm belief that at this stage in their lives pensioners should be entitled to a certain quality of life and inherent in that is the right to feel safe and secure in their own home.