Workers’ Party’s representative Gavin Mendel-Gleason has welcomed the finding of the Citizens’ Assembly that a mandatory pension scheme should be introduced.
Responding to the developments, Gavin Mendel-Gleason said:
A mandatory pension contribution scheme would ensure not only that all workers would be cared for in old age, but would provide the state with much needed funds for strategic investment in the economy. It is good to see that a policy which is held by the Workers’ Party and by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) also sees such popularity with the Citizens’ Assembly.
Our calculations show that a contribution at 6% would provide the state with €1.6 billion annually in strategic investment. If invested in industrial development, it would lead to 30,000 jobs directly, and many more indirectly by stimulating economic growth.
We have far too many people unable to find decent permanent employment in Ireland. According to the CSO, the labour force participation rate is almost 4% lower than in 2008. At the same time we do not adequately look after our elderly, leaving many in poverty without a universally applied state pension system. In 2015, some 38,000 elderly experienced deprivation, an increase from the previous year. A mandatory pension scheme is a straightforward solution to both problems.
The fact that the vast majority of the Citizens’ Assembly support a mandatory pension scheme suggests that the view is widely shared by the population. Why then don’t we see any movement on the political establishment to implement one when it would clearly provide both security and stimulate the economy?