Dáil debates

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Ceisteanna - Questions - Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions

Jobseeker's Payments

11:00 am

Photo of Claire KerraneClaire Kerrane (Roscommon-Galway, Sinn Fein) | Oireachtas source

I thank the Minister. It is always said by Ministers, especially when we discuss the abolition of mandatory retirement ages, that there is no statutory retirement age in the State. We know that, but so many employment contracts stipulate retirement at the age of 65. There would not be almost 5,000 65 year olds on jobseeker's payments if the age of 65 was not contained in their employment contracts. That is the issue.

The Minister must also acknowledge the difference in payments. When a person retires they can fall from €400 or €500 a week to €203 a week on jobseeker's benefit. That is a difference of more than €2,300 a year. People are losing out financially from this. I am concerned that the new retirement allowance will be paid at the same rate as jobseeker's benefit and as such this will not be addressed.

Finally, will the Minister look again at abolishing mandatory retirement? My party brought forward a Bill on this and it was passed unanimously by the Dáil. People who want to remain at work beyond 65 should have that option.


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