“Older People in County Wicklow will certainly welcome the announcement by Minister for Social Protection and Tánaiste Joan Burton of the restoration of at least a 50% payment of the Christmas bonus this year, as will all those living on social welfare payments” said Mai Quaid, Chairperson Co. Wicklow Network for Older People.
We also welcome that the Tánaiste acknowledges the contribution of older people in building the economy of this country and their role in supporting their children in child minding roles and financial help in the current recession” continued Mai, “but research carried out by our Network shows that for many older people living in County Wicklow the extra income will only partially offset the costs of other taxes such as property and water charges and reductions in allowances”. “
The Network for Older People investigated the priorities for older people living in Co. Wicklow and the results of the research have been published in their pre-Budget submission 2016. A copy of the research was sent to Minister Burton in the Department of Social Protection to create awareness of the main issues facing Older People in County Wicklow. The re-instatement of the full Christmas bonus was something highlighted by older people. “Getting the full Christmas bonus would reduce the burden of higher costs during winter” a quote from one of the members of the network. “So getting the bonus is not seen as a luxury for Christmas”, said Mai, “but for many it is a necessity,
The research also highlights other difficulties faced by older people in another case a lady living on her own told the Network that she could not afford the cost of her landline on her non-contributory pensions, “I live alone and am depending on a mobile. Sometimes I forget to charge it and I am scared something could happen in the middle of the night. PLEASE REVERSE THE RENTAL”. “These are just some of the stories included in our pre-Budget Submission which highlight the difficulties that some people living in County Wicklow face”, said Mai, and there are many more issues highlighted in what we feel is a very powerful pre-budget submission”. The submission was sent to all Co. Wicklow T.D.s, relevant Ministers and Government Departments including Minister Burton at the Department of Social Protection. A copy of the submission can be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 087 1500 234