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Disappointment expressed over no increase to state pension

Meanwhile, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath confirmed the state pension age will not rise in January.

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Pensioner Don Johnson gives his reaction to the budget at his home in Clontarf (Niall Carson/PA)

Pensioner Don Johnson gives his reaction to the budget at his home in Clontarf (Niall Carson/PA)

Pensioner Don Johnson gives his reaction to the budget at his home in Clontarf (Niall Carson/PA)

The state pension age will not rise to 67 next January, Michael McGrath has confirmed.

The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform said in his budget speech that a Pensions Commission will be established and that the Government would consider the commission’s report in due course.

The Government also did not increase the state pension.

Dublin pensioner Don Johnson said the only welcomed announcement for senior citizens is the five million additional homecare hours on top of the 19 million from 2020.

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Pensioner Don Johnson gives his reaction to the budget at his home in Clontarf (Niall Carson/PA)

Pensioner Don Johnson gives his reaction to the budget at his home in Clontarf (Niall Carson/PA)

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Pensioner Don Johnson gives his reaction to the budget at his home in Clontarf (Niall Carson/PA)

“We need to keep our independence to some degree,” Mr Johnson, 68, said.

“But there are some disappointments in the budget and that’s the increase in the utility bills which is a heavy burden to carry and it will have a big impact on us.

“There will be a big increase in the energy use as there is talk about a bad winter coming and because of the virus you can’t go out, you have to stay in more.”

There was also an increase to the fuel allowance and the living alone allowance which is set to benefit older people.

It's also disappointing there is no rise in the state pension because these days every penny countsDon Johnson

However, Mr Johnson said that a number of elderly people are concerned about the increase in heating bills as pensioners are spending a lot more time at home.

“Trying to keep your home heated is always a problem. You do your exercises to keep the body in shape but in winter it can be hard on people.

“It’s also disappointing there is no rise in the state pension because these days every penny counts.

“Food, clothing and shelter are essential and you are trying to keep everything together and if you don’t have that, you are in serious trouble.

“That’s why organisations like Alone are great, I can’t say enough great things about them.”

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