Thursday, 24 October 2013

Questions (236, 248)

Finian McGrath

Question:

236. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Health the reason married couples are being discriminated against with the new ceiling for medical cards for the over 70s (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45359/13]

View answer

Billy Timmins

Question:

248. Deputy Billy Timmins asked the Minister for Health the position regarding the medical card income limit for the over 70s in budget 2014; the reason the income limit is not €1,000 for a couple; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45436/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 236 and 248 together.

The Government recognises that the living costs of an individual living alone are more than half the living costs of a couple living together. This is acknowledged through the provision of the Living Alone Allowance and differential income limits for medical cards for persons aged under 70 years between individuals and couples.

In that context, the over-70s income limit for a single person has been reduced proportionately less than the income limit for a couple.