Sinn Fein’s eleventh-hour attempt to help elderly ‘a PR gimmick’ – Nolan

19 January 2016

Sinn Fein’s charter for older people is a last-minute, desperate attempt to shore up support from a section of society they have completely ignored since 2011.

Sinn Fein are not serious about investing in the elderly, in the same way they aren’t serious about being in Government.

The party’s pre-Budget submission completely ignored older people and today’s launch is a desperate attempt at the eleventh-hour to correct that. It is nothing but a vacuous PR gimmick.

Unlike Sinn Fein, Labour are actually interested in investing in the elderly and in improving their living standards. We restored the Christmas Bonus by 75% and increased the State pension. In its pre-Budget submission, Sinn Fein proposed nothing of the sort.

Labour are investing €940 million in the Fair Deal scheme this year so elderly people who need funding will be approved within 4 weeks. Again, Sinn Fein proposed nothing.

And in relation to Free Travel, Labour have not only protected the scheme, but are even increasing funding for it by €3 million this year.
Surprise, surprise, Sinn Fein proposed nothing.

While Sinn Fein pay lip service to older people in the media, they don’t actually see them as worthy of investing in, as evidenced by their pre-Budget submission.

Their charter may secure headlines, but it will do nothing to secure the future of the elderly.

By comparison, under Joan Burton’s stewardship, Labour in Government has consistently stood up for older people and will continue to do so. We have also increased the Fuel Allowance, restored the Respite Care Grant, and introduced free GP care for all over 70s.

That’s what can be achieved when parties are serious about improving peoples’ lives and bettering their circumstances.

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