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Addabbo slams cuts to Social Security

State Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) has assailed the Social Security Administration’s decision to cut cost-of-living allowances as a hardship for seniors.

Addabbo said the cost-of-living payments are “not a luxury but a necessity” for seniors.

Although the Social Security Administration justifies the COLA cuts for 2010-11 as appropriate at a time of falling consumer prices, Addabbo pointed to the rising prices in New York City.

“The cost of everything has risen,” Addabbo said. “From Medicare prescription drug plans, up 7 percent; to food, up 1.4 percent; to riding mass transit, up 10 percent.”

“Seniors should not have to choose between eating, paying their rent or getting their medication,” Addabbo said.

“If President Barack Obama can bail out banks, insurance giant AIG and the auto industry, he should do better than his recent call on Congress to approve a second round of $250 stimulus payments for more than 50 million Social Security recipients,” Addabbo said.

Democratic district leader Frank Gulluscio, U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Forest Hills) and City Councilwoman Audrey Pheffer (D-Rockaway Beach) had previously demanded the COLA cuts be called off.

“For many seniors, Social Security is a lifeline,” Gulluscio said. “Even in this recession, the cost of living is on the rise. In New York City, the cost of everything from medication to milk has risen.”

The average Social Security recipient receives $1,094 each month and, along with Medicare, has helped keep millions of Americans over 62 above the poverty level.

The U.S. Labor Department reported last week that in the past year, the cost of gasoline has declined 29.7 percent and overall energy costs have fallen 21.6 percent.

Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at timesledgernews@cnglocal.com or phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 136.

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