30 January 2020
By Mary Bermingham
Independent (Former Fianna Fail) candidate in the general election Cllr. Kenneth O’ Flynn recently said “ageism must be tackled at every turn”.
Canvassing in Cork’s Northside which has a large older population, he said those who exhibited ageist attitudes and behaviour must be challenged.
“Ageism is to be actively watched for, identified and eliminated. We are not and should not be prepared to tolerate it and must continue to take active steps to challenge it,” he said.
Cllr. O’ Flynn said that one positive step that had been taken to benefit older people this week was the realisation by all political parties that forcing the retirement age beyond 65 is not tenable and not acceptable to the entire nation.
“This is an example of where the State needs new thinking and needs to take new and innovative steps to benefit, not just older people, but younger people who will one day be our older generation. They need to have focused solutions and focused innovation that can bring real improvement in the near term for all people that do not have private pensions in the State,” he said.
Cllr. O’ Flynn continued ” when you consider that only 6 in 10 Irish workers have some form of private pension savings, according to new data published by the Central Statistics Office. The report shows that people continue to leave it late to start saving for retirement. The CSO figures show that fewer than one in five workers under the age of 25 had any private pension in place. This rises to almost 45 per cent for those aged between 25 and 35, and above 70 per cent among workers over the age of 45. The figure has risen over the past year to 59.8 per cent from 56.3 per cent. Among those who have yet to start a pension, 36 per cent said they had simply never got around to organising it with a further third saying they couldn’t afford it.”
Cllr. O’ Flynn said he had a specific and personal interest towards improving the lives of Ireland’s older people.
“It is not just rhetoric. It is about action and if elected I will support any new government that supports my view on this topic of ageism and pensions,” he said.