Move on pensions not what was promised
The cuts from 2014 must be reversed and any attempt to extend retired age
Welcoming the news that those reaching 65 will no longer be expected to sign on for jobseekers payments, People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith said while the move was welcome, “It was not what Fianna Fáil promised prior to the last election and it is not good enough.”
The TD said both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael had made promises to pensioners after plans to extend the pension age to 67 had “blown up in their face” last year.
She said: “Thanks to a great campaign all parties that had originally endorsed extending the age to 67 had to quickly back-track when the extension of pension age became one of the biggest election issues.
“Since 2014, 65-year-olds had to sign on for the jobseekers payment of €203 per week. While removing the need to sign on for the payment is welcome, Fianna Fáil have reneged on the promise to restore the payment to €248.30 and they must be held to account for this.”
The TD also said moves to extend the pension age to 67 had not gone away and she warned that the Pension Commission examining the issue can be used by political parties as a convenient smoke screen to implement the policy they want.
She said: “Our pensioners have made it clear they will fight this, and I welcome the commitment of the trade union movement to mobilise on this issue.
“This state has the lowest PRSI contributions from employers as well as widespread bogus self-employment abuses, both of which ensure the social insurance fund is lower than it should be. We can afford to pay pensions from 65 but we lack the political will to implement that policy, not the money.”