Pension Equality and Fairness: Motion (Resumed) [Private Members]

The following motion was moved by Deputy John Brady on Wednesday, 7 December 2016:
That Dáil Éireann:
notes that changes made to the State Pension in recent years have impacted disproportionately on women and have forced retired workers onto jobseeker’s payments;calls on the Government to ensure that pension equality for women will be front and centre in the development of a road map for a sustainable Social Insurance Fund and associated pension reform;urges the Government to restore the pension rates and bands to their pre-September 2012 position and to reduce the contributions requirement for State Pension eligibility from 520 to 260 contributions; and
further calls on the Government to reinstate the State Pension (Transition) so that workers can once again have the option of retiring when they reach 65 years of age with the support of a pension.
Debate resumed on amendment No. 1:
To delete all words after “Dáil Éireann” and substitute the following:
"notes that:
— there are many different types of pension; the State Pension (Non-Contributory)which is means-tested and funded from general taxation, the State Pension (Contributory) which is not means-tested and is funded from social insurance, public service pensions, defined benefit and defined contribution pensions which are private trusts set up by employers and private pension arrangements like personal retirement savings accounts; the challenges and issues relating to each of these is different;
— over the past decade successive Governments have increased the basic weekly rate of the State Pension on a cumulative basis, well ahead of inflation;
— a welcome increase in life expectancy brings with it increased pension costs; without raising the State Pension age, pensions will become unaffordable and unsustainable in the future and it will not be possible to maintain their value;
— the changes to rates, bands and minimum contributions introduced for State Pensions (Contributory) were designed to help ensure that the Social Insurance Fund went back into surplus and remains so;
— State Pensions (Contributory) are paid out of the Social Insurance Fund, not general taxation and any increase in the cost of the contributory pensions would have to be paid for by those paying Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI) contributions - employees and their employers;
— the rate of consistent poverty amongst those over 65 is 2.1 per cent compared to 8 percent for the general population; for neither men nor women over 65 is the rate of consistent poverty over 2.5 per cent; and
— there is no compulsory retirement age in Ireland but individual employment contracts, including many of those employed by the State, may contain a retirement age; more flexible working and pension options need to be developed to give people greater choice, for example such as if they wish to remain in their current employment beyond 65; and
agrees that:
— pensions are a particularly complex area and any change to the rules is likely to result in both winners and losers and have an impact in terms of cost on the exchequer and/or the Social Insurance Fund;
— the impact of any reforms on women and men and other groups need to be carefully considered and analysed before making them; and
— as a result an analysis of the impact of various possible changes will be given to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Social Protection for its consideration in early 2017."
-(Minister for Social Protection)

I must now deal with a postponed division relating to the motion regarding pension equality and fairness. On Wednesday, 7 December 2016, on the question that the amendment to the motion be agreed to, a division was claimed and, in accordance with Standing Order 70(2), that division must be taken now.

Amendment put:
The Dáil divided: Tá, 49; Níl, 83; Staon, 4.

  • Bailey, Maria.
  • Barrett, Seán.
  • Brophy, Colm.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Peter.
  • Byrne, Catherine.
  • Canney, Seán.
  • Cannon, Ciarán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
  • Coveney, Simon.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • D'Arcy, Michael.
  • Daly, Jim.
  • Deering, Pat.
  • Donohoe, Paschal.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Flanagan, Charles.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Halligan, John.
  • Harris, Simon.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Kyne, Seán.
  • Lowry, Michael.
  • Madigan, Josepha.
  • McEntee, Helen.
  • McGrath, Finian.
  • McHugh, Joe.
  • McLoughlin, Tony.
  • Mitchell O'Connor, Mary.
  • Moran, Kevin Boxer.
  • Murphy, Eoghan.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Neville, Tom.
  • Noonan, Michael.
  • O'Connell, Kate.
  • O'Donovan, Patrick.
  • O'Dowd, Fergus.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Rock, Noel.
  • Ross, Shane.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Zappone, Katherine.

Níl

  • Adams, Gerry.
  • Aylward, Bobby.
  • Barry, Mick.
  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Brady, John.
  • Brassil, John.
  • Breathnach, Declan.
  • Broughan, Thomas P.
  • Browne, James.
  • Buckley, Pat.
  • Butler, Mary.
  • Byrne, Thomas.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Casey, Pat.
  • Cassells, Shane.
  • Chambers, Jack.
  • Chambers, Lisa.
  • Collins, Joan.
  • Collins, Michael.
  • Collins, Niall.
  • Connolly, Catherine.
  • Coppinger, Ruth.
  • Cowen, Barry.
  • Crowe, Seán.
  • Cullinane, David.
  • Curran, John.
  • Daly, Clare.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Donnelly, Stephen S.
  • Dooley, Timmy.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Ferris, Martin.
  • Fitzmaurice, Michael.
  • Fleming, Sean.
  • Funchion, Kathleen.
  • Gallagher, Pat The Cope.
  • Grealish, Noel.
  • Harty, Michael.
  • Haughey, Seán.
  • Healy-Rae, Michael.
  • Healy, Seamus.
  • Kelleher, Billy.
  • Kenny, Gino.
  • Kenny, Martin.
  • Lahart, John.
  • Lawless, James.
  • MacSharry, Marc.
  • Martin, Catherine.
  • Martin, Micheál.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • McGrath, Michael.
  • McGuinness, John.
  • Mitchell, Denise.
  • Moynihan, Aindrias.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Munster, Imelda.
  • Murphy O'Mahony, Margaret.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • Murphy, Eugene.
  • Murphy, Paul.
  • Nolan, Carol.
  • O'Brien, Darragh.
  • O'Brien, Jonathan.
  • O'Callaghan, Jim.
  • O'Dea, Willie.
  • O'Reilly, Louise.
  • O'Rourke, Frank.
  • O'Sullivan, Maureen.
  • Ó Broin, Eoin.
  • Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • Ó Laoghaire, Donnchadh.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Quinlivan, Maurice.
  • Rabbitte, Anne.
  • Ryan, Eamon.
  • Scanlon, Eamon.
  • Shortall, Róisín.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Tóibín, Peadar.
  • Troy, Robert.
  • Wallace, Mick.

Staon

  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Kelly, Alan.
  • O'Sullivan, Jan.
  • Ryan, Brendan.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies Joe Carey and Tony McLoughlin; Níl, Deputies John Brady and Denise Mitchell.
Amendment declared lost.

I move amendment No. 2:

To delete all words after "Dáil Éireann" and substitute the following:

"notes that older people make a remarkable contribution to Irish society and that this should be recognised with sufficient increases to both the Contributory and Non-Contributory State Pensions;

accepts that too many workers are not in a pension scheme and that pension reform is taking far too long to be introduced and this needs to change in 2017;

acknowledges the €5 increase to the State Pension announced in Budget 2017 and other social welfare allowances and agrees that the State Pension should be further increased over the life time of this Government;

further acknowledges and agrees to fully examine the current eligibility criteria for pension entitlement;

agrees to bring forward legislation to make it illegal for contracts to stipulate that retirement at the age of 65 is compulsory in recognition that people are living longer and should be given the option of continuing to work; and

further agrees that there should be equality of treatment between men and women in relation to pensions and corrections should be made where necessary and properly funded."

Amendment put:
The Dáil divided: Tá, 51; Staon, 46; Níl, 37.

  • Aylward, Bobby.
  • Brassil, John.
  • Breathnach, Declan.
  • Browne, James.
  • Butler, Mary.
  • Byrne, Thomas.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Casey, Pat.
  • Cassells, Shane.
  • Chambers, Jack.
  • Chambers, Lisa.
  • Collins, Michael.
  • Collins, Niall.
  • Cowen, Barry.
  • Curran, John.
  • Donnelly, Stephen S.
  • Dooley, Timmy.
  • Fitzmaurice, Michael.
  • Fleming, Sean.
  • Gallagher, Pat The Cope.
  • Grealish, Noel.
  • Harty, Michael.
  • Haughey, Seán.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Kelleher, Billy.
  • Kelly, Alan.
  • Lahart, John.
  • Lawless, James.
  • MacSharry, Marc.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • McGrath, Michael.
  • McGuinness, John.
  • Martin, Catherine.
  • Martin, Micheál.
  • Moynihan, Aindrias.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Murphy O'Mahony, Margaret.
  • Murphy, Eugene.
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • O'Brien, Darragh.
  • O'Callaghan, Jim.
  • O'Dea, Willie.
  • O'Keeffe, Kevin.
  • O'Loughlin, Fiona.
  • O'Rourke, Frank.
  • O'Sullivan, Jan.
  • Rabbitte, Anne.
  • Ryan, Brendan.
  • Ryan, Eamon.
  • Scanlon, Eamon.
  • Troy, Robert.

Níl

  • Adams, Gerry.
  • Barry, Mick.
  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Brady, John.
  • Broughan, Thomas P.
  • Buckley, Pat.
  • Collins, Joan.
  • Connolly, Catherine.
  • Coppinger, Ruth.
  • Crowe, Seán.
  • Cullinane, David.
  • Daly, Clare.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Ferris, Martin.
  • Funchion, Kathleen.
  • Healy, Seamus.
  • Kenny, Gino.
  • Kenny, Martin.
  • Mitchell, Denise.
  • Munster, Imelda.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • Murphy, Paul.
  • Nolan, Carol.
  • Ó Broin, Eoin.
  • Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
  • Ó Laoghaire, Donnchadh.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • O'Brien, Jonathan.
  • O'Reilly, Louise.
  • O'Sullivan, Maureen.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Quinlivan, Maurice.
  • Shortall, Róisín.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Tóibín, Peadar.
  • Wallace, Mick.

Staon

  • Bailey, Maria.
  • Brophy, Colm.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Peter.
  • Byrne, Catherine.
  • Cannon, Ciarán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • D'Arcy, Michael.
  • Daly, Jim.
  • Deering, Pat.
  • Donohoe, Paschal.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Fitzgerald, Frances.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Flanagan, Charles.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Halligan, John.
  • Harris, Simon.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Kyne, Seán.
  • Lowry, Michael.
  • McEntee, Helen.
  • McGrath, Finian.
  • McHugh, Joe.
  • McLoughlin, Tony.
  • Madigan, Josepha.
  • Mitchell O'Connor, Mary.
  • Moran, Kevin Boxer.
  • Murphy, Eoghan.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Neville, Tom.
  • O'Connell, Kate.
  • O'Donovan, Patrick.
  • O'Dowd, Fergus.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Rock, Noel.
  • Ross, Shane.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Zappone, Katherine.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies Michael Moynihan and John Lahart; Níl, Deputies Denise Mitchell and John Brady.
Amendment declared carried.
Question put: "That the motion, as amended, be agreed to."
The Dáil divided: Tá, 50; Staon, 49; Níl, 38.

  • Aylward, Bobby.
  • Brassil, John.
  • Breathnach, Declan.
  • Browne, James.
  • Butler, Mary.
  • Byrne, Thomas.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Casey, Pat.
  • Cassells, Shane.
  • Chambers, Jack.
  • Chambers, Lisa.
  • Collins, Michael.
  • Collins, Niall.
  • Cowen, Barry.
  • Curran, John.
  • Donnelly, Stephen S.
  • Dooley, Timmy.
  • Fitzmaurice, Michael.
  • Fleming, Sean.
  • Gallagher, Pat The Cope.
  • Haughey, Seán.
  • Healy-Rae, Michael.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Kelleher, Billy.
  • Kelly, Alan.
  • Lahart, John.
  • Lawless, James.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • McGrath, Michael.
  • McGuinness, John.
  • MacSharry, Marc.
  • Martin, Catherine.
  • Martin, Micheál.
  • Moynihan, Aindrias.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Murphy O'Mahony, Margaret.
  • Murphy, Eugene.
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • O'Brien, Darragh.
  • O'Callaghan, Jim.
  • O'Dea, Willie.
  • O'Keeffe, Kevin.
  • O'Loughlin, Fiona.
  • O'Rourke, Frank.
  • O'Sullivan, Jan.
  • Rabbitte, Anne.
  • Ryan, Brendan.
  • Ryan, Eamon.
  • Scanlon, Eamon.
  • Troy, Robert.

Níl

  • Adams, Gerry.
  • Barry, Mick.
  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Brady, John.
  • Broughan, Thomas P.
  • Buckley, Pat.
  • Collins, Joan.
  • Connolly, Catherine.
  • Coppinger, Ruth.
  • Crowe, Seán.
  • Cullinane, David.
  • Daly, Clare.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Ferris, Martin.
  • Funchion, Kathleen.
  • Healy, Seamus.
  • Kenny, Gino.
  • Kenny, Martin.
  • Lowry, Michael.
  • Mitchell, Denise.
  • Munster, Imelda.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • Murphy, Paul.
  • Nolan, Carol.
  • Ó Broin, Eoin.
  • Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
  • Ó Laoghaire, Donnchadh.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • O'Brien, Jonathan.
  • O'Reilly, Louise.
  • O'Sullivan, Maureen.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Quinlivan, Maurice.
  • Shortall, Róisín.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Tóibín, Peadar.
  • Wallace, Mick.

Staon

  • Bailey, Maria.
  • Barrett, Seán.
  • Brophy, Colm.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Peter.
  • Byrne, Catherine.
  • Canney, Seán.
  • Cannon, Ciarán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
  • Coveney, Simon.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • D'Arcy, Michael.
  • Daly, Jim.
  • Deering, Pat.
  • Donohoe, Paschal.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Flanagan, Charles.
  • Grealish, Noel.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Harris, Simon.
  • Harty, Michael.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Kyne, Seán.
  • McEntee, Helen.
  • McGrath, Finian.
  • McHugh, Joe.
  • McLoughlin, Tony.
  • Madigan, Josepha.
  • Mitchell O'Connor, Mary.
  • Moran, Kevin Boxer.
  • Murphy, Eoghan.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Neville, Tom.
  • Noonan, Michael.
  • O'Connell, Kate.
  • O'Donovan, Patrick.
  • O'Dowd, Fergus.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Rock, Noel.
  • Ross, Shane.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Zappone, Katherine.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies Michael Moynihan and John Lahart; Níl, Deputies Denise Mitchell and John Brady.
Question declared carried.