Deputy Michael Lowry has today called on the Government to give a firm assurance that old age pension rates will not be cut in Budget 2014. The Independent Deputy for Tipperary stated that there has been widespread distress, upset and concern amongst pensioners following reports that the rate of the old age pension may be targeted in the coming months.
Deputy Lowry stated;“Since these reports have emerged my office has received a large volume of calls from those on the old age pension who are struggling to cope at present and are now living in fear and deeply upset that their old age pension may be cut. Pensioners, like all individuals, are struggling to deal with cutbacks and the increased cost of living and many are struggling with issues such as fuel poverty and isolation. They are devastated to now learn that their pension may be targeted and distressed by the conflicting reports that have emerged this week.”
“Any move to cut pension rates will be strongly opposed and will simply not be tolerated by pensioners. I can assure all constituents that I am vehemently opposed to any slashing of the old age pension and will vigorously object to any move by the Government to this effect. In the lifetime of the last Government I ensured that no such cut would be introduced. I firmly believe that those on the old-age pension are entitled to security of income and to know that their income will not be targeted. These are the people who have worked diligently for a long number of years and given tirelessly.”
“The Government are engaged in a cynical exercise of kite flying in advance of the budget. This type of kite flying by the Government is reprehensible and is unfair to our older and more vulnerable citizens. I am calling on the Government to immediately provide clarity on this issue and cease with this unfair practise.”