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Budget 2018 continues discrimination in Social Protection – Brady

10 October, 2017 - by John Brady TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Employment Affairs & Social Protection John Brady TD has said that Budget 2018 does nothing to tackle the discrimination faced by young Jobseekers and older people across the State.

Speaking in relation to measures announced in Budget 2018, Teachta Brady said:

“Budget 2018 continues the discrimination ingrained in our Social Protection system. On the one hand, it completely ignores the discrimination faced by older people in their reduced State Pension payment and on the other, it actively continues the discrimination already there for young Jobseekers, and it goes further, making it worse.

“The Government are well aware of the inequalities in the calculation of the State Pension. So far, over 35,000 people have received a reduced State Pension as a direct result of the changes made to the pension bands and rates meaning that those who took time out of work have been penalised in their pension payment. This has not been addressed.

“Even with the €5 increase announced in today’s Budget for Jobseekers payments for those aged under 26, the discrimination continues. Those aged between 18 and 24 will now receive €107.70 and those aged 25 will receive €152.80 as oppose to the full rate of €198. So, not only does the discrimination continue but the gap is now widened even further.

“In our Alternative Budget, Sinn Féin tackled these inequalities head on. We would restore the 2012 pension bands and rates for the State Pension giving older people a fair and adequate State Pension and not punishing people for taking time out of work to rear children or look after a loved one. We would also provide retired 65 year olds with a State Pension as oppose to being forced onto Jobseekers payments.

“Sinn Féin would increase Jobseekers payments for the under 26s by €30 as a first step to restore the payment in full for our young Jobseekers.

“Budgets are about choices. Today, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil chose to ignore the discrimination faced by our older people and continue it for our young people.” 

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