1,600 Limerick pensioners affected by discriminatory changes

Maurice Quinlivan
Limerick Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan

More than 1,600 pensioners in Limerick are affected by the discriminatory pension changes introduced by the Fine Gael-Labour government in 2012, according to Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Business, Enterprise and Innovation Maurice Quinlivan.

The Limerick City TD said that the Government played down the number of older people on reduced state pensions, as the actual number of older people affected by the 2012 pension changes is 42,278 as opposed to the 35,000 stated by Government.

“At no stage in all of the discussions on this issue did Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty disclose the actual number of people impacted by the 2012 changes, despite her own Department having the figure. Instead, the Dáil was misled on this,” Deputy Quinlivan declared.

“The fact is that 42,278 pensioners are receiving a reduced State Pension as a direct consequence of changes made to the calculation of the State Pension is outrageous. Fine Gael and Labour took this decision with the absolute knowledge that women would be disproportionately impacted and this is evident in the fact that almost two-thirds of the 42,278 pensioners are women.

“The number of people in Limerick affected by this extremely unfair situation stands at 1,606. Of these, 1,062 are women while 544 men are affected.

“The Social Welfare Bill 2017 is due to go before Cabinet this week. We need to see the Minister’s plans to rectify this discrimination in this Bill. If it is not there, Sinn Féin will amend the Bill and we fully expect Fianna Fáil to support such an amendment given their recent Dáil motion calling for action.

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“This issue needs to be addressed immediately, 42,278 pensioners are waiting,” he added.