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Budget 2020 - Modest Gains For Older People But More Should Have Been Done, Says COPE Galway

COPE Galway welcomes Budget 2020 increases in the living alone allowance by €5 per week; the allocation of 56,000 extra medical cards for people over 70 years old and the one million additional home help hours due for next year.

However, the local charity has expressed disappointment that the Government is not doing more to both address the immediate needs of older people and to shape future policy direction on how we will address the challenges faced by this growing demographic.

COPE Galway sees further missed opportunities in Budget 2020 as:

  • The absence of an increase in the pension rate – COPE Galway had sought a €9 per week increase in a pre-budget submission to Minister Donohoe
  • The increase of fuel allowance by just €2 per week – not adequate to meet energy price increases and the burden of increased carbon tax.
  • The failure to bring forward any proposals to look at the future housing needs of older people

“The announcement of additional home help hours, while welcome, does not go far enough in our view in progressing the government’s own stated policy of supporting older people to live in their own homes with dignity and independence for as long as possible,” said Martin O’Connor of COPE Galway.

“In a submission we made to Minister Donohoe in advance of Budget 2020 we proposed a number of measures including the development of an adequate range and supply of mixed accommodation. This would help ensure that older people have an option to downsize in the area where they currently live and where they have the most community, family and social support. This would also allow older people to live in their own home with dignity and independence for as long as possible”.

COPE Galway also expressed disappointment at the lack of measures included in Budget 2020 that would speed up the processing time of home adaptation grants and reverting to the higher funding levels that were available in 2010 to help ensure that older people and those with a disability are not living in unsuitable accommodation.

Note to Editor:

COPE Galway is a local Galway organisation whose vision is an “Improved Quality of Life in a Home of your Own” for people affected by homelessness, women and children experiencing domestic abuse, and older people.

In 2018 COPE Galway worked with 949 adults and 457 children affected by homelessness in Galway, including 186 families and 612 single people. They also worked with 457 individual women and their children who were experiencing domestic abuse; produced and delivered 59,053 meals to older clients and to our services around Galway; worked with 730 older people at risk of isolation and supported 3,263 individuals through the FEAD programme (Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived).

For more information:

Phone 091 778 750 / Email

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For further commentary on #Budget2020 visit our Twitter account – @copegalway