The Irish Pharmacy Regulator approved restrictive new rules on Thursday which put jobs at risk and the possibility of rural pharmacy closures. These new rules will mean registered Pharmaceutical Assistants, like Marie and Sarah, will no longer be legally allowed to provide professional temporary cover for a pharmacist. Marie spoke of how, “I still have a mortgage so am worried about keeping my family home as I am a widow with a disabled adult living with me”. Sarah added, “I will be out of a job. I am only 60 and state pension only available at 67…I have two children in college…it will be a financial disaster…I need my work and my money”.
There are some 259 million widows around the world, and nearly half are living in poverty. Widows are often stigmatized by their families and communities. Many suffer discrimination based on age and gender. Some have lived lives marked by physical and sexual abuse. Older widows often have few economic assets, after a lifetime of hard but unpaid work. Even in developed countries, the value of women’s pensions can be some 40 per cent lower than men’s. Younger widows face other challenges, as heads of households with childcare responsibilities and very limited economic opportunities.
Ombudsman Peter Tyndall recently published the first casebook for County Clare. He was asked to examine the case of a widow who, after her husbands death, wasn't informed of her entitlement to Household Benefits Package.
The Loneliness Taskforce was established by Dr. Keith Swanick in collaboration with the CEO of ALONE, Seán Moynihan, to coordinate a response to the epidemic of loneliness and social isolation in Ireland. Through its work, the Loneliness Taskforce is seeking to increase awareness about the issue and to produce a set of recommendations for Government, state agencies and all policy makers. Over 300 submissions have been received by the Taskforce sent from the general public, Oireachtas and Northern Ireland Assembly Members, MEPs, NGOs, Local Authorities, Public Participation Networks, and Volunteer Networks across the country, both North and South. The establishment of the Taskforce has created a much-needed national conversation on the loneliness and social isolation faced by people in Ireland.
Household Benefits Package Backdated for Widow Ombudsman Peter Tyndall agreed with widow that her Household Benefits Package should be backdated. His annual report for 2017 was published today after he received over 3,000 complaints about providers of public services last year. Background To The Complaint A woman complained about the Department of Social Protection’s refusal to backdate her payment under the Household Benefits package. The woman applied for the package almost a year after her husband’s death. The package was awarded from the date of her application. The woman believed that the package should have been backdated to the time that she was awarded a Widow’s Contributory pension a year earlier.
New provisions allowing Leaving Certificate students who suffer a close family bereavement during the state examinations in June to sit alternative papers in July.
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