Fianna Fáil Spokesperson for Older People and TD for Waterford Mary Butler has called on the Minister for Employment Affairs & Social Protection to outline when issues with her Departments online system will be rectified and when applications for the increased rate of contributory pension will be made available in paper form.

Deputy Butler queried this in the Dail with Minister Regina Doherty earlier today.

“Following a Fianna Fáil campaign to reverse cruel changes brought in by the previous Fine Gael and Labour government, which resulted in thousands of pensioners – and women in particular – receiving lower pensions, Minister Doherty announced that she would partially address the issue”, said Deputy Butler.

“As part of these measures, the Minister announced that payments under the new model would begin in early 2019.  However, I have been contacted by worried pensioners who have not received their increased entitlements.  When I asked her in the Dáil today, Minister Doherty said the payments would begin next week.

“While this is a welcome development, the Minister herself has admitted that “there are still tens of thousands of reviews to be conducted”.  These reviews must be carried out without delay.

“There are a number of problems with the review system itself as it can only be accessed online at the moment.  I have been contacted by people who are reporting problems with the online application process and are unable to complete it.  We still have no date for the rolling out of an alternative paper system and I am urging the Minister to roll this out as soon as is possible.

“Pensioners have already waited too long for payments which they are entitled to. I am calling on Minister Doherty to iron out the issues with these payments and ensure that people begin receive their entitlements without delay”, concluded Deputy Butler.