A Fianna Fáil TD has backed a €15 increase in the state pension in order to help the elderly cope with the soaring cost of living.
Sinn Féin have previously backed an increase in welfare payments and, ahead of a meeting of the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party, backbencher Cathal Crowe of Clare also argued for radical action:
“Inflation at the moment is running at 7.8%,” he told Newstalk.
“And in recent years, at best, we’ve seen a pension increase of €5. That just about buys a cup of coffee and a newspaper.
“I think we need to go far above that; I think €15 of an increase would be more in line.”
The cost of running a car in Ireland is another issue that Deputy Crowe believes the Government should address:
“Perhaps the whole realm of car taxation, NCT test fees, maybe they could be looked at,” he mused.
“But a particular thing I wish to hone in on would be the cost incurred by a lot of our health personnel.
“Every day of the week there are district health nurses crisscrossing this country, occupational therapists, home help; they’re doing so on mileage and subsistence rates that haven’t been updated in years.
“I think that’s something immediately I would like to see Government address.”
September or October Budget?
Yesterday Green party leader Eamon Ryan hinted that he would be open to bringing the budget forward by a month; however, Minister of State Niall Collins said he thought that was unlikely:
“It’s my judgement that the budget will happen around October,” he said.
“Traditionally, we’ve had the budget around late October but there is flexibility allowed in terms of when the Government will decide to appoint the particular budget day.
“But as of now, Government is firmly intending to have the budget day announcement around the middle to the end of October.”
Main image: Pensioner with money. Picture by: PA.