Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North West Aindrias Moynihan has called on the Minister for Employment Affairs & Social Protection to fix issues with her Department’s online system for pensioners applying for an increased rate of contributory pension.

He also wants a paper based application system to be rolled out at the same time in order to facilitate people for whom online isn’t an option.

Deputy Moynihan explained, “In 2012 Fine Gael introduced changes to the band rates for entitlement to the State pension which resulted in thousands of people – and women in particular – receiving a lower pension.

“I am aware of some constituents in north Cork who lost in the region of €30 per week or €1,500 a year, which is a significant sum of money for most people, but more so for people who are solely reliant on the State pension.

“Fianna Fáil campaigned to have these changes reversed and after significant pressure from my party the government eventually set about partially addressing these anomalies.  However, there have been a number of difficulties with the system – particularly the fact that it is online only.

“Many parts of north Cork have poor broadband coverage, making it difficult for people to use the system.  Despite this issue, which is also affecting other parts of the country, Minister Regina Doherty has failed to outline a timeline for the rollout of a paper based application process.

“Payments for pensioners affected by the anomaly were due to begin in early 2019.  Last week the Minister said they would begin this week.  While this is welcome, the delays have been a major source of concern for pensioners who have not received their payments.  People rely on these payments for day to day expenses, and it is important that the delays are dealt with as speedily as possible”, concluded Deputy Moynihan.