Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Equality Fiona O’Loughlin TD says reform is needed to ensure women who take time out of the workforce to care for children or an elderly relative are not subsequently denied access to a full pension.

Deputy O’Loughlin said, “A number of women have made contact with me to highlight concerns that they have regarding access to the full state pension. These people took time out of the workforce to care for their children, and as a consequence of this they do not have enough contributions to qualify for the full state pension.

“The Government should address this issue and ensure that a person who has taken time out of the workforce to care for children or an elderly relative is not unfairly disadvantaged. It’s important to remember that those who care for children or elderly relatives are doing the state a service.

“It is imperative that we value and recognise the contribution that carers make to our society. We must put in place mechanisms that will ensure they are not confined to poverty in later years because of their previous caring responsibilities. I plan on raising this issue with Minister Varadkar and Minister O’Donohue when the Dáil resumes.

“It is not good enough for the Government to just talk about equality and fairness, they must actually practice what they preach.”