Fianna Fáil is calling on the Social Protection Minister to explain why women are being unfairly targeted by changes to the State’s contributory pension scheme.
Cuts to weekly payments were brought in by Joan Burton to make it more difficult for people who weren’t in full, long term employment to qualify for the maximum €230 a week payment.
However, it’s emerged that women are being hit disproportionately by the measures.
“The Minister needs to outline why women, who took time out of their working lives to care for their children, are being penalised. Because they did not receive social insurance points during that time, their entitlements are now being cut. Some are seeing their payments slashed by more than €1000 a year. This is just the latest in a series of swingeing Government attacks on older people”, commented Deputy Michael Moynihan.
“This change in the pension rules was meant to be offset by a new homemakers credit. However the Department of Finance never sanctioned the credit because of cost. Now women who made a valuable contribution to the economy and to society are being penalised by this Government for taking time out of work to look after their children.
“I would urge the Minister to rethink these cuts, or to find a way to introduce the promised credit for mothers in order to make the cuts cost neutral for them. In the interests of fairness and equality, a review should be carried out to establish if an alternative money saving initiative can be found, to replace the existing scheme, which is targeting older mothers”.