Press Release

Callely announces progress on the introduction of a smart card system for older people

The Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children, Mr. Ivor Callely, TD has today called for a smart card system for older people to ensure greater efficiency in the application process for benefits and entitlements. Speaking at the Health Session of the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis in Killarney, Mr. Callely stated:

“Under the current system, older people are required to complete an application form for benefits, whether it be for pension, free travel, bereavement grants, household benefits, disabled persons, essential repair grants, etc. In addition to the completion of an application form, older people are required to obtain long birth certificates, doctor’s letters and death certificates where applicable. This process can be repeated over and over again as an older person seeks to obtain all of their entitlements.”

“This system causes unnecessary duplication and we must look towards technology to assist us in removing such bureaucracy. The introduction of a smart card could eliminate this level of bureaucracy and prove beneficial in proactively advising people of their entitlements. This will be of enormous value for older people to avail of statutory and secondary benefits.”

“Such a system could also be extended to contain a photographic identification which could be used under the existing free travel arrangements, this combined with technology on our buses and trains would ensure a further advantage for this service.”