Fianna Fáil TD Darragh O’Brien and Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs & Trade has called on the Minister for Employment Affairs & Social Protection to ensure that a commitment to remove the anomalies in the State contributory pension are progressed this year.
He said: “This is an issue that I have been raising for years, and the fact that we still have a situation where thousands of people, and women in particular, are losing out on pension entitlements as a result of crass changes that were brought in by the previous Fine Gael-Labour Government, is scandalous.
“I worked in the pensions industry for over 15 years and fully realise the impact that these changes are having on people. I have had people contact my office, who are losing out as a result of these regressive changes, some by as much as €30 per week or €1,500 per year. This is a substantial amount of money, especially for older people who are solely reliant on the State pension.
“I’m committed to continuing to work on their behalf to ensure that the measures brought in by the last Government are reversed without delay.
“Minister Regina Doherty stated that “it is expected that this approach to pension qualification will replace the current one from around 2020”. That’s another two years away. This anomaly, which was introduced six years ago, which I, along with my Fianna Fáil colleagues opposed strenuously, needs to be sorted as a matter of urgency – why can’t the Government understand that?
“I am urging Minister Doherty not to let this issue slip off the Government agenda, and to ensure that the punitive changes, which were introduced by the last Government are reversed as quickly as possible”.