Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Supporting Older People in Meath - Older years should be better years

Vote Regina Doherty Number 1 Meath East

This election, Fine Gael have a simple proposition for older people. We want to make your older years better years. Fine Gael wants Ireland to be one of the best countries in the world in which to grow old. We can achieve this if we keep the recovery going and create the resources to support better public services.

With your vote, we will continue to make more and better jobs and we will make work pay more than welfare. With more people working (and paying tax) we will be able to invest in better public services.

We will safeguard state entitlements for older people and improve them. We will enhance the supports available so that older people can continue to live independently in their homes amongst their communities in Meath. We will spend €870 million on a package of services to support older people over the course of the next government. This is the second largest commitment in our Long Term Economic Plan after the abolition of USC.

There are five key elements to Fine Gael's plan to support Meath’s 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.

In 2007, Fianna Fáil promised to increase the State pension to €300. Instead they presided over a catastrophic economic crash and decided to cut the Christmas bonus, a move that really affected vulnerable older people. By contrast, 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 across Meath can experience meaningful improvements to their quality of life. I'm asking for your number 1 to help me make this happen.

Regina Doherty

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