Sinn Féin spokesperson for Public Expenditure and Reform, Rose Conway-Walsh TD, has labelled the rise in retired people at risk of poverty as ‘deeply concerning’.
Figures released by the government show an alarming increase of the number of retired people at risk of poverty from 11.9% to 19.1%.
Speaking following the release of the Public Service Performance Reports, Rose Conway-Walsh said:
“Figures release today show an alarming rise in the increase in retired people at risk of poverty in 2022.
“Pre-pandemic 1 in 10 retired people were at risk of poverty. In 2022 that spiked to 1 in every 5 people. This means many elderly people now live in very precarious situations – with all the stress and anxiety that brings.
“We have also seen a similar increase in the number of retired people living in consistent poverty. This is now close to 1 in 20, a substantial increase on pre-pandemic levels. That is deeply concerning.
“These figures are collected as part of the government’s performance-based budgeting. This shows a staggering failure to protect the elderly in our society that needs an urgent response.
“Sinn Féin have consistently raised the issue that many announced measures in last year’s budget, such as increases to the State Pension and the Fuel Allowance, would not take effect until January.
“This meant that many older people were left to wait through the winter months for much-needed supports, which undoubtedly will have contributed to the figures now being reported.”
Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Older People, Patricia Ryan TD, added:
“These vulnerable people, many single men, and many from the farming communities, are contending with cost-of-living increases and energy price hikes, on low fixed incomes. Many are also struggling with high private rental costs, due to the scarcity of appropriate affordable housing.
“This government needs to step up to the mark, to curb this rise in poverty and to ensure our older and retired people can live with dignity.”
Note: https://assets.gov.ie/261405/7a77dc32-4925-4f01-8c04-66e0a4c8791b.pdf Relevant figures on page 13