Friday, 17 June 2011

Labour supports increasing pension age to 68

It didn’t take Labour TDs very long to revert to their traditional role of lackies in government, did it?

So far we have had only muted protest in response to Richard Bruton’s attempts to lower the pay of badly paid, precariously employed private sector workers, while Labour pussyfoots around the Croke Park Agreement. 

Now we have them proposing, along with Fine Gael, to increase the retirement age to 68... something they opposed while in opposition.  The new retirement age will apply to anyone aged 49 or under today.  Do not be surprised if they raise it upwards again in the near future.

Apparently, it is all down to demographics.  Strange, but I can hardly stroll down the street or mosey around the shopping centre without tripping over a buggy of some sort. The Irish are still popping them out like we are on the verge of extinction which, unfortunately despite it all, we are not.   I accept, however, we are talking Europe-wide here. This is the future, it seems - even in France, with its retirement age of 58. The Germans recently upped  theirs from 65 to 67.

Joan Burton is quoted in yesterday’s Times as “emphasising” the “fundamental principle that people need to participate in the workforce for longer and they need to contribute more towards their pension if they are to achieve the income they expect or would like to have in retirement”.  


How cynical is that?   We all know - and I’m sure Joan Burton does too - that anyone outside Labour's world of the public sector who suddenly finds themselves unemployed has scant chance of getting back to full-time work for quite some time.   If they are over 40 they can forget about it.    

Additionally, these are the people most likely to be targeted for redundancy in times like these.   So for Burton to say that they should “participate in the workforce for longer” is the most condescending of insults - particularly galling as it comes from a Labour minister.

Labour / Fine Gael’s proposals also mean that someone taking early retirement at, say 58, will have to wait another 10 years before they can get the pensions they have being paying into all their lives.   It also means if they have a partner who is still working – assuming they are not on the wages Richard Bruton would like to enforce on us all – they will not even be entitled to income support.

Meanwhile, we have seen how ex-TDs and senators benefit from generous State pensions as soon as they jack in their jobs.   In 2008 alone, this cost the taxpayer €8 million (Sunday Tribune, Jan 30th, 2011).   

Will Joan Burton, Richard Bruton et al have to wait until they are 68 to pick up their TDs' state pensions, I wonder? 

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Ella said...

Hi GM, seems you are in the wrong profession, now if you were a graduate from Templemore you'd only have to work 30 years to be entitled to a full pension and could retire at 50 years of age. My dad had to work 40 years for a full pension, myself I have to work 38.

Now on another note it does seem mad raising the retiring age for the rest of us from 65 to 68, giving the unemployment situation, people who ordinarily would be retired are in fact holding down jobs that younger people could have instead of being unemployed. That's the paddy politician for you.

The Gombeen Man said...

I might well be in the wrong profession Ella... but I do have some moral standards. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Templemore?, sure they're takin' 2 years holidays.

The Gombeen Man said...

Yes, Anon. They're welcome to their holliers!