Dáil debates

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions

State Pensions

11:10 am

Photo of Mark WardMark Ward (Dublin Mid West, Sinn Fein) | Oireachtas source

From personal experience, I have a different view on the matter. I would like to tell the Minister about my father, who started work at the age of 12, having left school very early, as was par for the course back then. He joined the Defence Forces at the age of 17 and served the State for 25 years, both here and abroad. He then, ironically, started working for the Department with responsibility for social protection, which he worked for up to the age of 65, when he retired last April. After spending 53 years working in the State, instead of being allowed to retire with dignity and with a State pension, my father was forced to go onto jobseeker's allowance for a year. That indignity was not unique to my father; there are thousands like him.

When a person reaches the age of 65, he or she should have a right to the State pension. For Sinn Féin, the idea that somebody would be forced to continue working until almost 70, or that people of 65 or 66 years old would be sent down to the dole queue, is absolutely disgraceful. Has the Government any plans or intentions to reduce the pension age back to 65, to allow people to retire with the dignity they deserve?


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