Deputy Robert Troy.
Fianna Fáil TD for Longford-Westmeath Robert Troy has highlighted the presence of a gender pension gap which, he says, is leading to serious financial hardship for women.
Mr Troy raised the issue in the Dáil with Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar in recent days and called on him to take steps to address the matter.
“Women are currently getting a raw deal under the current pensions system as a result of draconian changes introduced by the previous Fine Gael / Labour Government.
"Many women were previously forced to take time out of their working lives to care for their children or loved ones. This was at a time when child minding services were almost non-existent,” explained Mr Troy.
He said the expectation among certain sections in society for women to be the primary child care figure at home has presented its own problems.
"This situation meant that many women lost important credit contributions and ultimately ended up in failing to meet the threshold for the full State pension.
"This is a real problem and is creating substantial financial hardship for women in Longford and Westmeath.
Mr Troy continued, claiming it was deeply unfair to penalise women who have taken time out of the workplace to raise children or care for family members.
"These women often had no other choice but to do so.
“The current pension is antiquated and needs to be urgently reviewed. The State cannot be allowed to continue discriminating against women,” he added.