Minister must explain loss of €45 weekly after election commitment to full transition payment
- Announcement of new payment is just Job Seekers by another name.
- FG during election said transition payment would be at rate of State Pension.
- Full transition payment still needed.
Responding to the announcement today by the Minister for Social Protection of a revised benefit payment, Labour Social Protection spokesperson Seán Sherlock highlighted that it would only apply to those who retired at age 65, and that it is €45.30 less per week than the old age pension despite Coalition parties committing to the full rate during last year’s election.
Deputy Sherlock said:
“The Government is clearly trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes by pulling the rug at the same time. This announcement today is a rebranding of Jobseekers payments and it is not equivalent to the previous State Pension Transition Payment.
“In effect the government has introduced a cutback and has not tackled the issue at all. It has made matters worse in fact. People will be down €45.30 per week or over €2,000 a year.
“Fine Gael committed in the recent election to paying a transition payment at the same rate as the State Pension but the Minister has today failed to deliver. A year on to the day of the General Election they have backtracked from their commitment. This new payment will also only be available to those who retire at the age of 65.
“The Minister must clarify why the State Pension Transition payment will result in the loss of €45 euros because it is due to be paid at the same rate as Jobseekers Payment. This is not what they said they would do.
“In the debate on the Social Welfare Bill in December we said that dignity must be restored to those at the end of their time at work. That dignity is undercut with the financial difference to the State pension as outlined.
“We need a system that reflects the new paradigm in Irish society. There is a pensions time bomb but we also need to allow for flexibility, in order to reflect the new realities of people’s working lives.
“As a society, we want to ensure that we recognise the dignity of people who have laboured and toiled. We need to set up a pensions architecture that is realistic, that speaks to the cost and the demographic fact that Irish people are getting older but also to the need to ensure we look after these people when they come to the end of their working lives.”