Local Fianna Fáil TD, Frank O’Rourke, has stated that older people must get priority in the forthcoming budget. Deputy O’Rourke was speaking after meeting with Fianna Fail Finance Spokesperson Michael McGrath and Mary Butler Spokesperson for Older People.

“The Programme for Government has a commitment to increase Home Care Packages and Home Help Hours, but Fine Gael have failed to set out how they are actually going about achieving this and we need progress on this in the budget.”

“Extra resources are needed for Home Adaptation Grants to make homes safer through the installation of ramps, railings and bathroom changes. Making homes more suitable for older people brings many benefits not least for older people themselves but also enables older people to live independently in their own homes.”

“Recent figures around waiting lists show that over 718,000 people are waiting for either outpatient or inpatient appointments in our public hospital system. More than 100,000 older people are waiting for appointments and procedures.”

“In last years budget, we did secure resources for increased pension allowance, Fuel Allowance and the Telephone Allowance was partially restored. We campaigned for these items under the Supply and Confidence agreement with the Government.”

“Supports for older people are critical. I have highlighted the need for increased resources for Housing Adaption Grants, Fair Deal Scheme, Phone Allowance, Pension, Home Care Packages and Carers. Figures show that older people are now fulfilling, in many cases, the role of the State in providing care to those living with illness or disability and also care for our children. Caring for our older people must always be centre stage when considering our social affairs budget,” concluded Deputy O’Rourke.