“A Shocking Robbery” [Updated]



Billboard from SIPTU’s ‘Stop 67’ campaign

This morning.

SIPTU’s Deputy General Secretary Ethel Buckley spoke to RTÉ Radio One’s Seán O’Rourke about the union’s “Stop 67” campaign to stop plans to raise Ireland’s State pension age to 67 from January 1, 2021.

Ms Buckley said the campaign has been running for “a number of months” but today’s launch of the campaign is being carried out in conjunction with other groups such as the National Women’s Council of Ireland, Age Action and Active Retirement.

From the interview…

Ethel Buckley: “Our priority is to ensure that the legislation is changed so that they do not proceed with 67 on New Year’s Day [2021] and we have not heard yet, from Fine Gael or Fianna Fáil that they will repeal the legislation.

“So our campaign will continue, in fact it will ramp up to get those commitments from those parties.

“And the first priority of the next administration, however that will be made up, is to repeal the legislation and then to engage in a negotiation, a real negotiation, on the issues presented by State pension age in the long term.

“The progressive parties have said that they will legislate to remove the 67 increase, with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have not yet.”

Seán O’Rourke: “Well, effectively, have they not done the same thing by saying they will have a transition payment, equivalent to the pension?”

“No, I have not heard them saying that it is equivalent to what people would receive on the State pension. What I have heard them say is they will continue the transitional arrangement that was there.

“And that represents a gap of €45 in the income of a single person and €76 for a couple between the transition payment and what you would get on a State pension…”

O’Rourke: “I’m just looking at what Fianna Fáil have said. They will pay sums equivalent to the old-age pension to people over 65 in the meantime, pending a review.”

Buckley: “In 2017, there was a Joint Oireachtas committee looking at the issue of the State pension. And there were very prominent members of the Fianna Fáil party, including Willie O’Dea, the pensions spokesperson, on that committee.

“And the committee recommended to the minister, in July 2017, to conduct a review and to not go ahead with 67 as planned.

“That was in July 2017, we’re now in January 2020 and they have not done that. So we have heard this before from Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.

“And we need cast-iron guarantees and what people need is that cast-iron guarantee before they go to the polls on the 8th of February.

“People need to know exactly not idle promises, they need definite commitments.”

O’Rourke: “And what about the cost of this? I mean what’s your estimate of the cost?”

Buckley: “Well, the minister’s estimate of the cost, she [Regina Doherty] was, there were parliamentary questions put to the minister Regina Doherty on the 10th, 11th and 12th of December and she said, on the record on the Dáil, that the annual net cost is €217billion a year. Those are the minister’s figures.

“And we accept them.”

O’Rourke: “Yes, but I mean the gross figure is €430million and that’s the basis upon which they must operate. And what you’re saying is the net thing, which I suppose, you know, it allows for what the State would claw back in income tax and so forth.”


Election 2020 leaflet from Age Action.

Via Age Action

Listen back in full here


This Saturday, at noon.

Outside the Intreo office on Cork Street in Dublin 8.

People Before Profit’s Bríd Smyth, above right, who’s hoping to retain her Dáil seat in Dublin South Central, will host a protest over the pension age increase.

She writes:

“Next year the age at which a person qualifies for a state pension will increase to 67. Each year’s increase in the pension age costs a worker €12,911 a year.

“So, next year, the Irish state will save €25,822 for every worker in the country. This is a shocking robbery and must be stopped. This is will be one of the highest retirement ages in the developed world.

“People Before Profit TDs want to restore the pension age to 65. We shall try to initiate a major ‘people power’ movement that will seeks to follow the example of French workers and restore an established retirement age.”

Pension protest: Restore the pension age to 65! (Facebook)

Previously: When I’m 65

Grey Expectations

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22 thoughts on ““A Shocking Robbery” [Updated]

    1. Giles

      I am due mine this year
      Got the statement of my contributions for contributions since 1977
      It’s gobble gook even though I have many over 600 I have to wonder if. I will get my full entitlements

  1. Iwerzon

    Unfortunately for those of us who don’t and will never afford to buy their own home and those who cannot afford to pay into a pension fund are going to have to work til we physically cannot, just to afford a roof over our heads – old age poverty/homeless is going to be MASSIVE in just a few years, much, much worse than it currently is.

    1. Conksi

      yep this.
      Costs in retirement will be huge for non-owners, creating real poverty for elderly, basic pension will needs to rise, paid for by a decreasing percentage of the workforce.
      Oh yea, Private landlords will be creaming it

    2. The Old Boy

      Ultimately, a shift from a state pension entitlement at an arbitrary age to a disability-based system is inevitable in a country where the fertility rate has dropped so acutely over a few decades. The sums will stop computing very rapidly otherwise.

    3. Giles

      I am due mine this year
      Got the statement of my contributions for contributions since 1977
      Like many I too will have to work till I drop
      No public sector pension or private that had to be cashed in during crash plus I was taxed thousands on it and when redundant taxed again and guess what could not
      Claim the tax back I paid on it

  2. Optimus Grime

    I fully expect to work till I am 70 and my pension plan involves me dying in a skydiving accident on the eve of my 70th birthday

  3. Fluffybiscuits

    100% with Iwerzon

    Basic economics should show if you start a social housing programme, 100k over 2 years then you get three things

    Social housing to solve waiting lists
    Revenue for the exchequer

    Or am I totally wrong?

    1. Rob_G

      Right on the first two counts, but how will you get ‘revenue from the exchequer’?

      Any revenue that might accrue would be far outweighed by the cost of building the houses in the first place.

  4. Jake38

    Young taxpayers should be up in arms about this attempt by the geriatric vote to continue wringing as much out of them as possible. I suggest that they vote for which ever party will continue to push up the age of pension entitlements.

    1. Rob_G

      They sure should; unfortunately, older people are a lot more reliable voting bloc, so politicians will always pander to them.

  5. Charger Salmons

    The thing is the politicos know the geriatrics will get out and vote while the wokes are still in bed checking their twitter feed.
    You ignore the grey vote at your peril.
    Brexit and Boris taught them that.

    1. The Old Boy

      Fianna Fáil still like to remind pensioners that Ernest Blythe took a shilling off the pension in 1924.

  6. Stephen

    I don’t like the idea of having to work longer but the reality is this.
    People used to start working straight after school (if even finished it) work til 65 and on average die 10 years later, so there was 1 year of retirement for around every 4.5 years working (10 retired / 45 working).
    Now people start working later as there is college and also live longer so its 1 year of retirement for every 3 working (15 retired / 45 working).
    That’s a big difference and something has to be done about it, the money has to come from somewhere.

  7. Hector Ramirez

    My pension plan…. robbing banks.

    Get away and you have enough money to enjoy retirement.

    Get caught and you have free room, board……. and drugs.

Comments are closed.

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