Senator Maura Hopkins has called for a restoration of the Telephone Allowance as part of the Department of Social Protection's budget for 2017.
Senator Hopkins said, "during the depths of the recession, spending reductions were necessary in an attempt to stabilise the economy and one of these spending reductions was the full termination of the telephone allowance in 2014."
“Many pensioners have spoken to me about the telephone allowance, highlighting its real benefits and highlighting the need for the government to prioritise funding for its reintroduction."
She went on to say “I have raised this issue with Minister for Social Protection, Leo Varadkar TD on many occasions, he is very aware of benefits of the allowance. As the economy is slowly starting to recover, I have called on Minister Varadkar to strongly consider restoration of the telephone allowance in budget 2017."
“The value of a telephone cannot be understated, many pensioners rely on it to help them connect with family, neighbours and avail of services. The phone is vital for organising social outings, medical appointments, transport, running home security systems such as panic buttons and helps greatly to reduce loneliness and isolation."
Senator Hopkins concluded, “I am very aware that for many pensioners, finding money to pay the telephone bill can be very difficult. I will continue to raise this matter with Minister Varadkar as it is very important that we do all we can to help our older people maintain their connection with their families and communities."