Sinn Féin spokesperson for Social Protection John Brady TD has said that there is nothing positive or progressive about increasing the threshold for part-time workers in order to receive the contributory State pension.
Speaking this morning, Teachta Brady said:
“This new Budget proposal looks to increase the threshold to qualify for the contributory State pension from €38 to €70 per week.
“The Government are telling part-time workers to earn more in order to receive their State pension on retirement. So, how do the Government suggest workers go about doing this?
“One in four workers are part-time workers, there has been a huge increase in zero hour contracts and precarious employment in recent years. The idea that part-time workers are simply able to increase their wage by €32 is ludicrous but not at all surprising.
“To even consider this move is just another reminder of the ever growing distance between the Government and the people on the ground.
“Only a few weeks ago, Sinn Féin brought forward a bill that sought to give protections for low-hours and zero-hours workers. This is what the Government should be looking at instead of trying to lock workers out of receiving their pension entitlements.
“Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael once more joined forces to block this progressive legislation aimed at protecting ordinary workers.
“Sinn Féin is strongly opposed to this proposal. The Government should work harder at moving people away from low-paid, precarious employment and towards a living wage with proper pension entitlements for all workers.”