SIPTU representatives will join the National Women’s Council, Age Action, Active Retirement Ireland and members of the Senior Citizen’s Parliament to launch a Pension Promise campaign in Dublin today (Monday, 19th June). The campaign is demanding that the Government honours its promise of a state pension rate of 34% of average earnings and to halt the alarming number of people experiencing real pension poverty in Ireland. Speaking in advance of the campaign launch, SIPTU Deputy General Secretary, Ethel Buckley, said: “Currently, the number of older people and those on fixed incomes that are living in what can only be described as pension poverty is growing at an alarming pace with tens of thousands of older people unable to keep on top of household bills or afford the basics. This is not acceptable in a country as wealthy as Ireland. SIPTU will not stand for this injustice.” “Retired and older people deserve secure adequate retirement incomes. It’s no more than they have earned after a lifetime of work and paying taxes. A state pension rate of 34% of average earnings means an increase of €53 a week in the state pension while taking the politics out of it once and for all.” National Women’s Council Director, Orla O’Connor said: “The state pension system is critical for women, who are more reliant on it than men for income in their older years, and depend on the state pension to cope with inflation and increases in the cost of living. Women are subjected to deep inequalities and discrimination in our pension system, as they are more likely to provide unpaid care and to be in low paid, part time and precarious jobs, and many do not have an occupational pension or access to the full state pension.” Age Action, Senior Public Affairs and Policy Specialist, Nat O’Connor said: “Older people have told Age Action that they are finding it harder to make ends meet. While most older persons will be frugal about their spending and will turn to their own resources before seeking state help, many are telling us that they can no longer afford the essentials.” CEO of the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament, Sue Shaw said: “Often older people fear others realising how much they are struggling as somewhere along the way they have picked up the message that ‘poverty’ is their own fault and something they need to feel ashamed of. An adequate secure pension would go a long way to addressing some of this.” CEO of Active Retirement Ireland, Maureen Kavanagh said: “Active Retirement Ireland says it is time for the Government to honour its commitment on the state pension.”