Fianna Fáil TD for Galway West Éamon Ó Cuív has criticised the contribution scheme changes brought in to rectify losses incurred by women who had left the work force to raise families or look after older people on a full-time basis.

Deputy Ó Cuív said “My advice clinics are full of individuals who may be entitled to these changes. From applying the criteria published by the Minister for Social Protection to those affected by the 2012 changes my experience is that the number of beneficiaries from this change will be very small compared to the number of people who lost out due to the decision of the then Minister Joan Burton.

“There seems to be much uncertainty from the Minister and the Department. I asked the Minister the number of cases that have been reviewed to date and how many of these would benefit from the changes. I was informed no reviews had been carried out by the end of 2018 and that they were expecting to contact pensioners by the end of quarter one in 2019.

“This attempt to rectify the mistake made by the previous Fine Gael/Labour government has not addressed the injustice of the decision made. What would have been a simpler fix, from an administrative point of view and result in many more beneficiaries, would have been to reverse the cuts and pay the rates as had been up until 2012 to those who qualify for a contributory scheme,” concluded Deputy Ó Cuív.