Within a week the government have crumbled over the withdrawl of an automatic entitlement to a medical card for over-70s. That is an amazingly quick climbdown and it shows that the notion of 'the elderly' being an amorphous mass of 'vulnerable members of society' is a crock of shit.
Fianna Fáil have always bought the votes of the elderly in this country between the extension of the medical card to the over-70s in the first place, rises in the pension and the provision of various free services.
That's not to say that elderly people are uniformally loaded or anything, but the fact remains that younger families on lower incomes and with more dependants are entitled to less. The medical card income threshold for the over-70s is now nearly double the minimum wage. How can that be considered right? And, more to the point, how can so many people have jumped on the bandwagon of demanding such a threshold?
In fact it was such a relatively new entitlement in the first place that you can actually watch video on the RTE website of doctors voicing their concerns about the strain the scheme was going to put on the medical card system when it was introduced 8-years ago - and it did.
P.S. Finian McGrath is a clown, a moustachioed clown for all to see.