The Government has been accused of double standards by Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall TD over its refusal to reverse the unfair 2012 cuts affecting state pensions for women.
Speaking ahead of a Dáil debate tonight, Deputy Shortall said:
“The changes to state pension introduced in 2012 have resulted in an estimated 36,000 people, mainly women, receiving reduced rate pensions. Yet the Government chooses to ignore the plight of these pensioners and instead is holding fast in its refusal to reverse these cuts. At the same time, we know that the government has back-tracked on its own promise to limit tax relief on high end pensions, including for Ministers and senior public servants.
“In 2013, the then Minister for Finance Michael Noonan promised to restrict tax relief to ensure that any tax benefit would be limited to a pension of no more than €60,000. However, this was not fully implemented and the result was that Ministers and senior civil servants continue to enjoy tax relief on pensions up to €100,000.
“If the government had kept their promise it would have resulted in savings of approximately €120 million per annum, more than twice the cost of reversing the unfair 2012 cuts for state pensioners.
“The Dáil will tonight debate a Fianna Fáil motion calling for the 2012 pension changes to be reversed. That motion does not identify where the funding of €60 million will come from to do that.
“That is why the Social Democrats have proposed an amendment calling on the Government to now follow through on their earlier promise to restrict pension tax-relief on high earners and thereby make the savings to fund full state pensions, as set out in the motion.”