No Government commitment on index linking medical card income limits – BREEN.

November 6th, 2008 - Pat Breen

Deputy Pat Breen shows his support for the retention of the Automatic right to a Medical Card for the Over 70\'s at their recent protest in Dublin

Fine Gael’s Deputy Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Clare T.D. has said that the Income Limits for Medical Cards for the Over 70’s continues to cause confusion with the Government refusing to legislate for a commitment to index link the income thresholds for over-70s medical cards to cost of living increases.

“It was akin to been present at Communal Confession in the Dail on Tuesday and Wednesday last witnessing an array of Government Politicians of all shades lining up to apologise for their decision to automatically withdraw the Medical Card from the Over 70’s. They should have admitted they got it wrong and reversed this decision and the reality is that there are still questions to be answered particularly in relation to the income limits which will apply for the Medical cards.”

“With many older people already worried in spite of numerous assurances regarding the Means tests, several constituents of mine have raised the situation god for bid regarding the loss of someone’s husband or wife and whether it is not only bad hard enough to cope with the loss of a spouse without immediately losing one’s medical card because one is suddenly over the limit and therefore fails the income test. This matter must be clarified.”

“The Government has also refused to clarify the situation regarding the index linking of medical card income with the Tanaiste confirming in the Dail that no legislation is planned to annually review the income thresholds for the over-70’s medical card to take account of cost of living increases. Income thresholds must be index-linked to inflation and Fine Gael will be pursing the Government on this matter when the relevant legislation comes before the House.”

Please see underneath Deputy Pat Breen T.D. Contribution to the Fine Gael Private Members Motion calling on the Government to reverse this decision.

Wednesday, 22nd October 2008.

Deputy Pat Breen: