The Press Association has today reported that the Postal Service in the Republic of Ireland, An Post, is to issue a commemorative stamp in September to mark the 100th anniversary of the old age pension.
The introduction of the Old Age Pension in Ireland came in 1908 because at that time it was still part of the United Kingdom, under British rule. Nevertheless the 1908 Old Age Pensions Act is apparently still seen as enough of a milestone in the development of Ireland's social services, designed to provide a guaranteed income for people who were too old to work, even though it was brought in by Chancellor of the Exchequer, David Lloyd George.
The first pension, which was worth five shillings (about 31 cents in today's Irish currency) was paid to people over 70 years of age who had an income of less than eight shillings a week. Last December, the Irish government increased the payment to 223 Euros a week for a single person aged between 66 and 80.
Many people in Ireland were later outraged by LG because of the activities of the Black and Tans but this has not prevented An Post from deciding to issue their commemorative pensions' stamp. It was of course Lloyd George who negotiated the settlement which led to the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921 and the founding of the Irish Free State.
Unfortunately Royal Mail's plans for commemorative stamps this year does not include one to celebrate the Pensions Act milestone.
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