11 February 2016

Fine Gael plans to ensure older years are better years

Fine Gael plans to ensure older years are better years

Package of measures worth €870million for Older People
           
Frances Fitzgerald, Local TD and Minister has today [Wednesday 10 February] highlighted plans to support older people and ensure that older years are better years.  The plan will safeguard and improve State entitlements for older people, and will provide enhanced supports for older people to live independently in their homes amongst their own communities in Lucan, Clondalkin, Palmerstown, Newcastle, Rathcoole, Saggart and Brittas.

Speaking about the plan, Fitzgerald said “I understand from meeting older people in Lucan, Clondalkin, Palmerstown, Newcastle, Rathcoole, Saggart and Brittas that they want a sense of reassurance and peace-of-mind in the years ahead.


“I know the immense contribution of our older citizens in shaping our society and driving our economy. I want to see Ireland develop as one of the best countries in the world in which to grow old, one where we respect and care for our older citizens.

“Our hard-won economic recovery now offers us an opportunity to do better. Fine Gaels package of measures for older people is worth €870 million, and is the second largest commitment in our Long Term Economic Plan after the abolition of USC.

“Fine Gael wants to ensure that older years are better years. We can achieve this if we keep the recovery going and create the resources to support better public services.

“There are five key elements to our plan to support our aging population:
  • Older people can be confident that State entitlements will be safeguarded and improved as the economic recovery continues. This includes their medical card; free travel; an increase of €25 in the State Pension by 2021; an extra €5 for the Living Alone Allowance by 2021; and a cap on the prescription charge at €17.50, which represents a 30% reduction.
  • Enhanced supports for older people will allow them to live independently in their homes for longer. These include 2.2 million more home help hours and increases in housing adaption grants and senior alert grants.
  • More care will be provided in the community which will benefit older people. This includes building more primary care centres; providing additional front line staff in the health system; and ensuring that chronic conditions can be cared for closer to home.
  • The Fair Deal Scheme waiting list will be kept to four weeks for those who need residential care.
  • Finally, older people can be confident that their voice will be heard. We will establish a Citizens’ Assembly to discuss and plan for the needs of our ageing population.

“Fine Gael’s Long Term Economic Plan to keep the recovery going will ensure that older years are better years, as we spread the benefits of the recovery to everyone and ensure that older people can experience meaningful improvements to their quality of life.”