Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Social Protection, Willie O’Dea has said that he expects the Government to make progress on reversing the 2012 pension contribution changes that resulted in nearly 35,000 people, including 25,000 women receiving reduced pension payments.

Deputy O’Dea was commenting after a meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Social Protection where Minister Regina Doherty suggested that she expects the Government to move on this matter, and outline a roadmap to ending this blatant discrimination.

“I am pleased that, at last, Minister Doherty and the Government are seeing sense on this matter, and have listened to Fianna Fáil.

“Fianna Fáil has been consistent on this: this discrimination has to end. It has caused hardship for thousands of people, and it’s a blight on our pension system.

“My colleague, Spokesperson on Public Expenditure, Dara Calleary has written to the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe to outline Fianna Fáil support.

“Fianna Fáil has stated that if additional funding becomes available through either day to day savings in the Department of Social Protection through further reduced unemployment or from an increased surplus in the Social Insurance Fund that priority should be given to reversing the 2012 changes.

“I, and my party, stand ready to support any regulatory or legislative changes needed to commence the correction of this discriminatory anomaly.

“This situation cannot continue any longer without a clear, identifiable roadmap, outlined by the Government.

“This is a complex issue, and may unearth other anomalies in the pension system. However, it is an example of discrimination, and one which a fair and equal republic cannot support or sustain,” concluded O’Dea.