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Sinn Féin slams Labour and Fine Gael's decision to cut state pension by 15%

9 December, 2011

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald this morning called on the government to reverse its decision to cut new state contributory pensions by €30 per week from September 2012 for retiring workers with a yearly average of between 20 to 29 PRSI contributions over their working life.

Ms McDonald has also criticised the Tánaiste for trying to hide the full extent of the cuts to the Social Protection of €811 million in a full year as detailed in the government’s own Budget book published on Monday.

Deputy McDonald said:

“Is the Labour Party so sheltered from the horrendous economic and social realities facing communities that it is content to deliver a draconian budget, shut down debate in the Dáil and to continue blindly on despite wide-spread public outrage at the punishing cuts to Social Welfare?

“Labour and Fine Gael are cutting €811 million from the social welfare budget in a full year. Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore shockingly disputed his own Government’s Budget figures in the Dáil this morning. The government’s Budget 2012 announcements clearly state that the cut to the Social Protection budget in a full year is €811 million.

“The introduction of a 1% wealth tax would have generated an extra €800 million for the public purse.

“Fine Gael and Labour could have made the political choice to protect Community Employment Schemes and lone parent supports.

“Cutting the weekly state contributory pension by €30 per week from September 2012 for retiring part-time workers whilst protecting at all costs wealth and bondholders tells us exactly what this government’s priorities are.”

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