Sinn Féin spokesperson for Social Protection John Brady TD has said that the Government’s amendment to his Dáil motion on Pensions was seen for what it was and that has led to the Government’s defeat.
Sinn Féin have put the real issues around pensions on the political agenda and given a voice to the thousands of people affected by Government inaction on pensions. Sinn Féin have also ensured that the issue of Pensions is on the work programme for the Social Protection Committee which meets to discuss this issue next week.
Speaking after the vote, Teachta Brady said:
“The Government amendment put to Sinn Fein’s motion on Pension Equality & Fairness was completely irrelevant to the issues addressed in the motion.
“The Government’s amendment failed to address the core issues that Sinn Féin had sought to tackle in our pensions system.
“This motion was about fairness and equality. It was about fairness for those obliged to retire at 65 in accessing their State Pension as oppose to signing on for Jobseekers. It was about equality for women giving them an equal pension to men in tackling the 37% pension gender gap.
“Fine Gael TDs were like rabbits in headlights when it came to voting on our motion today.
“Fianna Fáil’s amendment which was passed was bizarre. The majority of Fianna Fáil TDs have highlighted the inconsistencies within the pension system particularly, the gender pension gap of 37% and the impact this is having on women. Yet, when it came to taking action on this matter, Fianna Fáil has failed to do so.
“A clear message has gone out today to thousands of people particularly, women that have been impacted by changes to pension bands and rates made in 2012 and the 5,075 men and women forced onto Jobseekers on retirement.
“Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil know the issues, they shout about them and cry crocodile tears for those affected but they are not willing to do anything about it. Hopefully, now that Fianna Fáil has eventually found the courage to vote against Fine Gael, voting in line with Sinn Féin on important matters, they might start a new trend for themselves.”