Fine Gael TD for Dublin North West, Noel Rock, said a new Telephone Allowance announced in Budget 2018 is welcome news for older people.
The previous allowance was initially scrapped in 2014, but today’s reversal will benefit the sections of the community who need it most.
Deputy Rock said, “Today’s announcement by the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure & Reform that we are introducing a new Telephone Support Allowance of €2.50 per week for those in receipt of both the Living Alone Allowance and the Fuel Allowance will be welcomed by those who are most vulnerable in society, as they were badly affected by this cut a number of years ago and have been campaigning ever since for its restoration.
“I also welcome the fuel allowance of €22.50 per week being extended to 27 weeks per year from 26 weeks per year – again, this helps assist older people in our communities.
“Speaking from my own experience within Dublin North West and speaking to old age pensioners in the community, the cut of the telephone allowance had a massive effect on many of them, especially those living alone, in terms of their finance.
“They depended on this allowance as well as the fuel allowance to ensure they could pay other vital expenses. I was happy to meet with the Minister recently and pushed for a telephone allowance for those who are most vulnerable.
“This was one of the top priorities for my constituents and I am delighted to see that the Minister has made this announcement.
“I have always believed that as the Government built on restoring the economy, which it has done so successfully to date, that we should be giving back to the general public, who helped in the efforts to turn our economy around.
“I believe those in most need, such as older people, should be looked after as well as part of a fair and just society and I believe the introduction of this allowance is part of the mantra and I hope that it will be welcomed across the State.
“To be clear though, I see this new allowance as a first step towards fairness, and would hope the next Budget extends this allowance to other vulnerable people in society,” concluded Deputy Rock.