Pensions cut hidden behind fig leaf of minimum wage restoration – Ó Snodaigh
Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Social Protection Aengus O Snodaigh said the government's placing of the restoration of the minimum wage in a social welfare bill which includes provision for a 16% cut to pension entitlements is “cynical and inappropriate”.
The bill had been flagged by government to the Oireachtas and to the public as a bill to reduce employers PRSI contributions on low wages and to raise the pension age to 68 .
“At the eleventh hour the government cynically and inappropriately dropped the restoration of the minimum wage into this Bill. The government’s decision to include the restoration of the minimum wage in the Social Welfare and Pensions Bill is a contemptuous effort to cover their attack on older people.
“It is a fig leaf to cover a giant cut of 16% to pension entitlements. The Labour leadership is cynically using the minimum wage to bully its own TDs into supporting the single biggest cut to pensions that has ever been contemplated,” he said.
“The Bill before us is supposed to be about social welfare and pensions not the minimum wage. The minimum wage was cut by a Finance Bill. It should be restored by a Finance Bill,” he said.
“The minimum wage should be immediately restored. It was fundamentally wrong to cut it in the first place and we should not be forced to exchange its restoration for far reaching cuts to state pension entitlements. Future generations of older people are being offered by this government to the EU/IMF as a down payment for their bank bailout,” he concluded.