PEARSE Doherty will speak this evening in favour of a Sinn Féin motion to restore the state pension age to 65.
The Sinn Féin Deputy will address the Dáil on the motion.
Speaking ahead of the debate, Deputy Doherty said that in the middle of a pandemic, with record levels of unemployment, sending someone to a dole queue at the age of 65 is absurd and unfair.
Deputy Doherty said: “Many workers in Donegal who have reached the age of 65 and who were expecting to retire and receive a state pension have been in touch with me to explain their anger at being told to apply for the dole.
“This absurdity has to end. Restoring the right to a state pension at 65 is about fairness for people who have worked hard all of their lives.
“The pension age was one of the biggest issues in the election in February. Voters expressed their opposition to this pension age increase through their support for Sinn Féin and other parties who had opposed these increases in the previous years.
“On 1st January 2021 the pension age will increase to 67 years of age. In order to stop this change happening legislation is needed. However, the government has not brought forward the legislation needed to stop the pension age increasing to 67.
“Instead, the government has tried to kick this issue down the road with the establishment of the Committee on Pensions. It’s a tactic to avoid having to deal with the issue.
“Every worker in the State makes a considerable tax contribution throughout their working life and should have the right to retire at 65.
“Some workers want to retire at 65, while others want to remain at work, where they are able and willing to do so. The motion also calls for workers to be allowed work past 65, if the wish.
“There are now over 4,000 65-year olds in receipt of either Jobseeker’s Allowance or Jobseeker’s Benefit. There is a difference of €45.30 between the Jobseeker payments and the State Pension leading to an annual loss of €2,355.60.”
The Sinn Féin motion calls for four things:
- Restore the State Pension Transition for those retiring at 65 years of age;
- Abolish mandatory retirement to give workers the choice to work or retire so long as they are fit to do so
- Make provision for those who remain at work beyond 65 to have their PRSI contributions counted towards their State Pension;
- Immediately introduce legislation to remove the pension age increase to 67 years and the further increases.
Deputy Doherty added: “I welcome the debate and tonight I will be speaking on behalf of those constituents in Donegal who have raised this issue with me.”Tags: