herald

Thursday 8 December 2016

Enda Kenny's €5 pension rise plan slammed

Enda Kenny says a range of measures will be introduced in the budget to help pave the way for reform
Enda Kenny says a range of measures will be introduced in the budget to help pave the way for reform

The Government has been accused of engaging in "naked and pure electioneering" following reports that it intends to increase the old-age pension by €5 a week in the Budget.

Fianna Fail's Public Expenditure and Reform spokesman Sean Fleming said the reaction from people he has spoken to was one of derision.

"I have met people today at a match and at a local rural fair and they said they'd 'need more than that to fix it'," he said. "People are already seeing it for what it is - naked and pure electioneering."

Mr Fleming said voters would not be swayed if the pension was increased, insisting that the people are able to see right through such tactics.

The Sunday Independent revealed yesterday that the Government intends trying to woo the grey vote in the October Budget by increasing the state pension for the first time in seven years.

More than 575,000 people are in receipt of the pension, which amounts to a payment of €230 a week if you have paid all the necessary contributions.

Fine Gael was rattled by a five-point drop in its support in the Sunday Independent/Millward Brown nationwide opinion poll last weekend, which showed a large group of elderly voters - a mainstay of Fine Gael support for decades - had abandoned the party.

There is an acceptance that pensioners must be wooed to shore up their support.

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