Taoiseach Michael Martin is under pressure to keep the statutory retirement age at 66 and catch up low PRSI increases instead Fianna Fail Members put considerable pressure on him to first consult with his party before making any government decision.
Ianna Fáil politicians rallied at the party’s weekly private meeting to tell Mr Martin that before the government makes a decision on the state retirement age, he should first seek consensus from his own TDs and senators.
Leading backbench TD John McGuinness has now warned there will be “cleavages” within the party if Mr Martin fails to comply with this request.
The Pensions Commission recommended raising the statutory retirement age to 67 in quarterly increments between 2028 and 2031, before gradually raising it to 68 by 2039.
The Government is expected to take a decision on the Pensions Commission’s recommendations this month, but that advice is widely expected to be adopted.
The rally to keep the state retirement age at 66 with small PRSI increases of 0.4 percent or 0.5 percent was led by veteran TD Eamon Ó Cuív.
It is understood there was broad support for the move and no dissenting voices among party colleagues.
Former Agriculture Minister Dara Calleary – who also supported keeping the retirement age at 66 at the meeting – said the party’s pledge not to raise the age to 67 in the last election should be kept.
“We’re pushing it [the Taoiseach] return to the parliamentary group before the cabinet makes a decision on this,” he said.
“We set up the review process under the government program, we set up the commission, but I think what we need within the parliamentary group is full discussion.
John McGuinness, TD of Carlow-Kilkenny, said the Taoiseach should fight with fellow coalition leaders Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar and Green Party leader Eamon Ryan for Fianna Fáil’s position on the matter.
He said a failure by Mr Martin to have a full debate with his party colleagues on the state retirement age before making a government decision, or to urge his government colleagues to keep the age at 66, would create “cleavages” between Mr Martin and lead his TDs and Senators.
“I think there would be serious disagreements between the Taoiseach and members of the parliamentary party on this matter. Our side must be defended by him in the government,” he said.
“I think we need to look at this issue and make some tough decisions,” said Roscommon Senator Eugene Murphy, who also spoke on the issue Wednesday night.
“The Taoiseach and the Party have all recognized that this needs to be addressed,” he said.
He added that while keeping the statutory retirement age at 66 would mean some “pain” with small tax hikes, it works for many people and needs to be maintained.
“I think that the PP (Parliamentary Party) is very invested in this issue,” said Mr. Ó Cuív.
“What the Pensions Commission has proven is that this is quite affordable.”
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/micheal-martin-under-pressure-from-party-colleagues-to-keep-state-pension-age-at-66-41508977.html Micheál Martin under pressure from party colleagues to keep the statutory retirement age at 66