Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade and Employment Louise O’Reilly TD has said that workers have been left wondering who is in charge of government after the Taoiseach and leader of Fianna Fáil Micheál Martin said that the pension age should not go beyond 66.
She welcomed that shift in position but added that it did not go far enough.
In reiterating Sinn Féin’s call for the right to retire at 65, Teachta O’Reilly called for clarity on the government’s position – as the Taoiseach’s comments go contrary to what coalition partners Fine Gael have said previously in supporting raising the pension age to 68.
Teachta O’Reilly said:
“Today, the Taoiseach and leader of Fianna Fáil said that there is support in his party for not raising the pension age beyond the age of 66. This u-turn is welcome but does not go far enough.
“His partners in coalition Fine Gael, however, have previously supported raising the pension age to 68, so workers are understandably left wondering who is in charge, and what exactly the government is proposing.
“Only a Sinn Féin-led government will ensure that workers have the right to their pension rate at 65 and that all workers, when they reach that age, will be given the freedom to choose to retire or work on if they wish to.
“Flying kites like this is a hallmark of this government, who are growing increasingly out of touch. If they were listening to people, they would know that they want the option to retire at 65.
“The government needs to clarify its position immediately, and to work with Sinn Féin and support our Employment Equality (Abolition of Mandatory Retirement Age) legislation, introduced in March.
“The fact that, two years into this government, workers still do not know what age they will be able to access their state pension is a testament to the fact that Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party do not understand the issues facing workers in this state.
“Sinn Féin believes that workers should have the right to their state pension rate at 65. After a lifetime of work, that is what they deserve.”