Speaking from New Ross on Thursday morning, Wexford Independent TD, Verona Murphy said people aged 66 and older are being discriminated against by not being allowed access the COVID 19 Pandemic Unemployment payment.
Deputy Murphy said,
“A growing number of older people are becoming more disgruntled as this crisis continues, and they face into real time financial difficulties. Many people over 66 were in paid employment, now laid off, or self-employed with no work and used their additional income to meet bills and other outgoings”.
Considering that the Government are expected to increase the State pension age to 68 which was one of the biggest talking points of the General Election it’s now ironic that they are refusing to pay those who are working and who are over 66.
“It is entirely illogical for this interim Government to state that you can’t claim the payment when you are 66. Many of our older generation are facing real hardship from loss of employment due to Covid 19. This generation are still engaged in employment as they simply cannot meet their living costs on the State pension alone.
If an employer takes up the temporary wage subsidy scheme they can choose to pay those over 66 and recoup 85% of the payment, but the state is refusing to recognise those that have been laid off and have added insult to injury by alluding to the over 66’s as only working to top up a pension. Many are very angry at the total disregard by Government of their input to Irelands workforce. It is important to note that the temporary wage subsidy will only help a small number of over 66s and does absolutely nothing for those who worked for themselves.
This interim Government are the same Government who increased the pension age so it’s a contradiction. I’ve received a huge amount of calls on this and many of these people are feeling very disregarded because of the way it was communicated. This is clearly “ageism” and needs the immediate attention of Minister Doherty. Our discriminatory laws are clear, this is very clearly age discrimination”.