In the last month alone, the Irish people have been told that the state assets are to stripped and sold off and now the IMF are pushing for cuts to the pensioners. The IMF doesn’t like them getting free travel and free TV amongst other allowances and wants these universal benefits stripped from them. Many of these same pensioners had endured emigration or 60% tax rate in the 1980s when the economy was a basket case and are now being asked to endure more hardship after mishandling of the economy by politicians and reckless banking.

Pensions, free travel and medical cards for the over-70s are being targeted for new cuts.

The International Monetary Fund now has pensioners in its sights as it believes they have largely escaped the effects of austerity.

The key provider of our bailout cash has told the Government to look at saving money by scrapping some free schemes for the elderly.

It warns that these benefits are wasteful because they benefit rich and poor alike.

Among the schemes are cheap electricity, gas and television licences, plus free travel passes and medical cards.

The proposals carry all the more weight because they are in a report that accompanied the IMF’s latest €3.2bn tranche of bailout cash released to the Government this week.


But Finance Minister Michael Noonan must still save billions in the next three Budgets even if the economy grows as quickly as the Government hopes.

Free television licences, cheap electricity and phone calls, different tax rates and free health care for the over-70s are just some of the benefits that are rarely enjoyed elsewhere.

I like the next paragraph most from the article. It almost implies that the IMF wants to create poverty. Surely that can’t be true 😉 Funny how on the one hand the IMF has admitted that austerity doesn’t work and still trots this shit out.

The IMF admits that our relatively generous pensions and social welfare benefits have helped prevent poverty since the economy collapsed. The poverty rate has remained relatively flat since the bust thanks to little changed pensions, child benefits, mortgage and rent allowances and medical cards.

Now if you read the full article from the Irish Independent you will read rightfully that the Irish social welfare system payments are generous. While this is true, just about everything paid out comes back in directly through taxes, vat and stealth taxes. But the reason why these payments are high is really as a result of a combination of things. Most Irish people were left with massively high mortgages. Ireland has extremely shit services. Stealth taxes are very high. Health service is bad and getting worse. Most people have private health insurance so the health minister uses this to subsidize the health service by increasing the costs on to the private health insurance companies who use the same hospitals and consultants as the public sector. For instance, the public hospitals charge the insurance companies over €1,000 per bed per day. They also insist you stay a day or two longer that you need so they get more money from health insurance companies. 

Funny thing is, the Irish choose to traditionally pay low taxes and put up with shit services as a consequence. Now they will end up with high taxes and shit services.  

And what else have they got to look forward to

“Older people are very, very worried. They are looking at the introduction of the household charge, water charges and there is nothing they can do because they are on a fixed income,” he added. He said pensioners must now pay the universal social charge, have lost their Christmas bonus payment, and get less free electricity.

He added that there had been a reduction in medical card cover for dentistry, an increase in VAT, and an increase in DIRT tax on savings.

Source: Irish Independent