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Working mothers particularly at risk in Government’s new pension plans – Mitchell

8 August, 2016 - by Denise Mitchell TD

Sinn Féin TD for Dublin Bay North Denise Mitchell has said that a proposal from the Department of Social Protection in changing the pension entitlements for part time workers will disproportionately affect certain groups in society and should not be progressed by this Government.

Deputy Mitchell said:

“This is a sudden jump from €38 to €70 in one move, which does not take into account those on very low incomes, working in a variety different types of jobs, to aid in supplementing their income.  These people are making a contribution and should not be penalised when they eventually retire. Considering the high proportion of part-time workers in this country, the changes are likely to have a significant effect on a number of people at the very lowest end of the pay scale.

“Ireland has one of the highest rates of part-time employment in the OECD, and a high rate of those on low pay. It must be remembered that 40% of working mothers are on part-time contracts and the more children a mother has, the more likely they are to be in part time employment. It may disproportionately affect this group.

“Mothers are limited when entering the workforce at any rate, with Ireland having the highest childcare costs in the European Union according to the OECD. Government cuts such as to lone parents are now being added to by punishment on retirement.

“Employers would now under this proposal not have to pay the 8.5% PRSI contribution for those earning between €38 and €70 per week. We must ask what is at the centre of this measure? Is it merely a money saving exercise for both the State and employers, being inflicted on those on low pay?  Policy direction should be concentrated on the many cuts people are currently facing under this Government and not on proving less for the future.” 

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