Senator Higgins calls for fairness and justice in the social protection budget 2019

In advance of Budget 2019, the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty appeared before the committee. Senator Higgins called on her to make progress on some of the issues which she has strongly advocated for over the past year and before.

She asked the Minister to reconsider the proposal to increase the threshold for a full contributory pension from 30 years to 40 year. 

She also asked her to ensure that the budget for her Department is subject to gender and equality proofing. A “litmus test” of this will be the outcomes for lone parents in Budget 2019. A clear and achievable measure to improve the circumstances for lone parent families would be to expand access to the jobseekers transitional payment for lone parents until their youngest child is 18. 

Finally, she raised the challenge of whether spending over €2 billion on private pension tax which disproportionately benefits higher earners is an appropriate use of public funds?

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