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No More Crocodile Tears, It’s Time For The Government To Step Up On INM Pensions.

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Social Democrats TD, Róisín Shortall, has again called on the Government to protect defined benefit pensioners, including those in INM, by accepting an amendment to the 2016 Social Welfare Bill, which is currently going through the Seanad. Deputy Shortall said; “To be frank, the Government’s response to the current INM pension crisis, and the wider issue of underfunded defined benefit pension schemes, has been negligent. Over the past few days Read More

Government Must Act Urgently To Protect INM Pensioners And Other Defined Benefit Pensioners

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Social Democrats TD Róisín Shortall has said that “the INM pensions debacle is causing dismay to the members in the scheme and alarm to tens of thousands of others in similar defined benefit schemes.” “It highlights once again the total inequity that can arise when the Board of a profitable company can legally renege on promises made to employees and former employees to provide them with pensions in their retirement. Read More

Carers Waiting 35 weeks for Welfare Decision while same Department is doling out free Water Conservation Grants

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Applicants for Carer’s Allowance are waiting 35 weeks on average for a decision on their payment according to a Dáil reply. The Dáil reply (see at end) sets out the long average waiting time across a number of schemes including: Carer’s Allowance 35 weeks Disability Allowance 32 weeks Invalidity Pension 21 weeks State Pension Non-Contributory 20 weeks When waiting times for appeals are excluded, the waiting times for carers allowance Read More

Aer Lingus Action Amounts To Corporate Bullying

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The actions of Aer Lingus today are truly appalling. Reports suggest that not only has the company issued proceedings against SIPTU but also against named employees of the union. This is a despicable act of corporate bullying. It entirely undermines the right to collective bargaining, the rights of organised labour, and indeed the right to withdraw labour in an industrial dispute. The implications go well beyond the Aer Lingus pension Read More

New Pension Insolvency Rules: An Improvement but Employers can still walk away and leave Tax-payers to pick up the pieces

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Extract from my Dáil contribution on new Pension rules for insolvent private sector pension schemes… This Bill proposes to allow for the reordering of the priorities in the event of the insolvency or restructuring of a defined benefit pension scheme. It also provides the Government’s legislative response to the Waterford Crystal workers’ situation by introducing minimum pension guarantees in certain circumstances where a double insolvency exists and I will say Read More

Dáil Speech: High End Pensions Protected despite Budget Promises – Golden Circle of Government Wins Again

Dáil Speech on Finance (No. 2) Bill, 2013 – High End Pensions Protected despite Budget Promises – Golden Circle of Government Wins Again In last year’s budget speech, Minister Noonan said: “I want to clarify the Government’s policy: “Tax relief on pension contributions will only serve to subsidise pension schemes that deliver income of up to €60,000 p.a. This will take effect from 1st January 2014….” “… The Pension Levy…will Read More

Gold-Plated Pensions for the Golden Circle – How the top paid in the Public Service protected themselves in Budget 2014

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I wrote the following piece for the Irish Mirror on Monday, 4th October, 2013….   Now, I know pensions policy is not the most exciting thing to be reading about in the newspaper. But I’m going to tell you about it anyway. Just to make your blood boil.   You see an awful lot of taxpayer’s money- between €2 and €3 billion as a matter of fact – is spent Read More

Government must engage with Waterford Crystal Workers on Pension Provision

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Today in the Dáil Deputy Patrick Nulty (Dublin West) and Deputy Róisín Shortall (Dublin North West) jointly raised the implications of last month’s European Court of Justice ruling in relation to the court case taken by former Waterford Crystal workers regarding their pension protection. The ruling contained a number of clarifications regarding the transposition of EU Directive 2008/94EC which concerns the protection of employees in the event of the insolvency Read More

Thousands of Pensioners face forced “Gap Year” because of Government inaction

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Today in the Dáil, I raised the issue of the pensioners who will have no other option but to sign on the dole in 2014 because the Government has failed to align the new State Pension age with the retirement age attached to their contracts of employment. The Government aims to save about €60 million in a full year following the abolition of the State Pension (Transition) next year. The Read More

Another attack on Older-People’s Services

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Local T.D Róisín Shortall has called the recent cuts to the Seniors Alert Scheme deplorable and another clear example of the Government hitting the most vulnerable.  Funding will now only be available to qualified persons over 65 who are living alone for the purchase and installation of personal monitored alarms, to a maximum of €230 per alarm.   Ms Shortall commented, ‘Many of thousands of older people have benefitted from Read More