Thursday, 29 April 2021
Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions
I am glad the Tánaiste is not suggesting this is free money because it is a benefit that accrues from working. I am glad he agrees that women should not be penalised for going on maternity leave. It is unlawful to penalise them in the private sector. Will the Tánaiste at least address in the short term the issue whereby those going on maternity leave have to come off the PUP and take a lesser payment? I was about to call the Tánaiste "Taoiseach" because he speaks sometimes as a bystander. He has been Taoiseach of this State. It is a unique privilege. It is a position in which one can sometimes exert authority and move towards doing some of the things the Tánaiste now talks about. I invite the Tánaiste to move in that direction and perhaps commit to having the Government discuss this. I am not saying the Government will be able to implement what I propose but it should discuss a serious move towards ensuring maternity benefit and illness benefit will be set at more realistic rates.