Pensioners were put at risk of abject poverty at the stroke of a pen in 2012, when changes were made to the number of stamps required and punitive conditions introduced. I welcome that Government now wants to rectify this situation. However, there has been a severe lack of clarity around WHO, WHEN and HOW MUCH.
How many people were impacted? I know that thousands of people around Mayo are finding that, as they are coming up to pension age, they are not entitled to what they rightfully expected.
There’s a real injustice being done to pensioners in this country, and it is being done very covertly. Since 2012, when those changes were brought in, people have been struggling to survive. We have even see situations where people are followed beyond the grave to get every last cent from them.
I think it is an absolute indictment on our country to have pensioners, who have contributed so much, have insufficient funds in their retirement.
Minister Regina Doherty recently said that 8,500 people have been reviewed and 24,000 more have been contacted. Disturbingly, over 50,000 are still waiting.
Fairness and transparency is what we need. I ask that the Minister come into this House to give more than a bland statement and answer the questions that we are asked every day by fearful citizens.