Thursday 22 March 2012
Age Sector Platform, a local charity representing 200,000 older people across Northern Ireland, has criticised the Chancellor’s budget announcement yesterday, claiming that the Coalition Government is totally out of touch with the problems facing the average pensioner.
Patricia Donald, Chair of Age Sector Platform, said: “We have been travelling around the province as part of the Northern Ireland Pensioners Parliament in recent weeks and older people continue to describe the difficulties they face in making ends meet. In fact, our survey of around 1,000 pensioners in Northern Ireland, has found that two out of three older people (64%) say they currently don’t have enough money. The so called ‘granny tax’ announced by the Chancellor yesterday will mean this situation will only become worse in the coming years.”
“This stealth tax, announced in the budget, will mean between 4 million and 5 million pensioners across the UK will be worse off in the coming years, losing an average of £84 a year. The government’s assertion that no pensioner will be worse off fails to consider the impact of inflation on the pockets of older people, who in fact often face higher rates of inflation than other age groups.”
“In response to this announcement, Age Sector Platform intends to invite the Chancellor to the 2-day Northern Ireland Pensioners Parliament in May 2012 to justify the government’s policy towards pensioners. Around 180 older people from across Northern Ireland will gather at the Parliament to discuss the issues of concern for them. We know that this announcement will be a hot topic for discussion and the pensioners in attendance will be eager to receive an explanation from the Chancellor for this decision.”