Government failure to hear message on Pension Age ‘disappointing’ – Matt Carthy TD
Local Sinn Féin TD Matt Carthy has said that the government’s failure to hear the clear message from the electorate on the pension was disappointing and telling. He was speaking after government TDs rejected a Sinn Féin Dáil motion that would allow those who wish to retire at 65 with the state pension.
Teachta Carthy said:
“The pension age became a defining issue of February’s General Election. The proposition, that was shared by both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, to increase the pension age to 68 over coming years was roundly rejected by voters. In fact, people clearly stated that they wanted to have the right to retire with a state pension at the age of 65.
“Instead, the government have established The Pensions Commission and many fear that this is a ruse to force the pension age to 67 in the coming period.
“That 65-year-olds have been forced to apply for jobseekers was in of itself a scandalous situation. Keeping people approaching 65 in the dark as to what they can expect while we await yet another report is just cruel.
“Not all workers will want to retire at 65, and of course they should equally be allowed to continue working if they wish to do so without facing mandatory retirement.
“The governments commission isn’t due to report back until the middle of next year.
“The 4,000 65 year olds currently receiving either Jobseekers Allowance or Jobseekers Benefit deserve to be treated with more dignity than the further six month wait this government proposes.
“People need to be able to plan for their retirement but that is being robbed of them during the current hiatus.
“The government failure to support Sinn Féin’s motion was disappointing. It was also telling – they still haven’t understood the strength of feeling on this issue among ordinary workers. Sinn Féin, for our part, will continue to press for the restoration of the state pension for those who wish to retire at 65.”