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Poverty concern Government urged to increase State pension by €10.50 a week in next budget

A pre-budget submission by Alone, says an older person on the contributory State pension is €38.18 a week below the poverty line

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Alone’s Seán Moynihan

Alone’s Seán Moynihan

Alone’s Seán Moynihan

The Government has been urged to increase the State pension by €10.50 a week in the next budget.

A pre-budget submission by Alone, the charity which provides support and housing services for the elderly, says an older person on the contributory State pension is €38.18 a week below the poverty line.

It says an income of €286.48 a week is needed to avoid poverty this year.

This is €38.18 above the current contributory state pension of €248.30 a week.

The non-contributory pension for those aged between 66 and 80 is lower at €237 a week.

The State pension has not increased since 2019, when it rose by €5 to €248.30.

According to Alone, financial matters are one of the biggest concerns raised by the older people it works with. It said 76pc of older people live alone.

The organisation said it wants the State pension to rise by €10.50, with further increases over the next five years.

"The income gap between the State pension and the amount needed to live above the poverty line is concerning, particularly as our older population is expected to grow from 640,000 to 1.1 million by the year 2030," chief executive Seán Moynihan said.

"Pensions are somehow still falling below the poverty line, despite the fact that as a country we can afford to pay pensions to ensure an adequate standard of living.

"This is something that must be accounted for in the next budget to protect older people from living in poverty."

Alone wants the pension to be triple-locked at 35pc of average weekly earnings, the rate of inflation, or 2.5pc - whichever is greater.

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It also urged the Department of Social Protection to update the telephone support allowance to a telephone and technology support allowance to help support older people to access digital technology.

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