Updated: 12/10/16 : 05:31:37
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Sligo pensioners pull no Budget punches on RTÉ

ELEMENTS OF yesterday's Budget package was criticised by several Sligo pensioners on RTÉ last night, Tuesday.

''What good is a fiver,'' asked Angela McLoughlin: ''They could have given a tenner.

''They could have given a bit more because they have it,'' she said.

She was speaking in a filmed report by RTÉ North West Correspondent Eileen Magnier on the Six One main teatime news show.

Earlier, Angela and colleagues in Sligo's Active Retirement Group watched the Budget broadcast at lunchtime.

Meat Dinner

Iris Shaw told viewers of ''people who have only one meat dinner in the week.

Said Iris: ''A lot of people will tell you that they can't afford to have a meal every day and I think they could have done with a lot more money, quite honestly.''

Denis Sheehan said ''in relation to the Christmas bonus we should have got the 100% instead of the 85%.'"

More Emphasis

John Deasy told viewers ''The one thing that concerns me, because it affected me personally, is that more emphasis should be put on the Home Care package.

Eileen Magnier: ''So, a missed opportunity?''

John Deasy: ''Absolutely.''

Already Committed

Fianna Fáil has already committed itself to seeing pensioners get a €25 weekly increase in the State pension, phased over five years.

The deferred payment until next March now means the increase -- at best -- will take 66 months rather than 60 to happen.

Earlier, Fine Gael had even resisted an increase of €5 in this week's Budget.

Support for a mere €2.50 a week increase -- 35 cents a day -- was being mooted by some Fine Gael backbenchers, reported The Irish Independent.

Link: See Six One

Meanwhile Finbarr Filan, RENUA Sligo Leitrim South Donegal and West Cavan constituency
spokesperson said, "Overall it was a very politically cynical budget trying to keep the ‘new politics’ afloat.

Mr Filan, a Sligo town businessman, outlined the following points,

·         USC does very little for the squeezed middle…working out at €3 per week per person
·         The self-employed tax credit PAYE equalisation is taking far too long

·         Social welfare discrimination against self-employed people remains

·         The €20k first time buyers tax rebate will do little to address the housing issue as it
          compels them to buy scarce new builds only causing a mini-price bubble.

·         Brexit as it affects the North West border region should to be given the highest priority and an
          all-party working group set up now look at the issues and develop a coping plan.
          North West businesses are suffering very badly from the collapse of sterling now and need
          immediate help from the Government.