Remember Joan Burton, the former leader of the Labour Party. She introduced a measure that would have increased Ireland’s retirement age to 67 by 2021 and 68 by 2028. Under Labour, Irish workers were to have the longest retirement age in Europe.
People Before Profit were the first party to campaign against this increase in the pension age. In our pre-budget submission, we showed how it could be maintained at 65.
The issue exploded in the last general election and popular pressure has now forced a deferral of Bruton’s scheme.
But like all establishment moves, the Pension Commission’s report is only designed to assuage popular anger rather than do the right thing.
The retirement age will stay at 66 for another seven years and then rise gradually every year until it hits 67 and eventually 68. The strategy is designed to prevent a focus on public anger.
We should reject this report and demand a simple retirement age of 65. That is the year when anyone who works should be entitled to a state pension. If they want to stay at work longer, that should be a voluntary matter.