Filmmaker Ken Loach is well known for his social realism; his highly acclaimed career has brought us many film classics that portray many aspects of working class life. Films like Kes, Raining Stones, Riff Raff, Looking for Eric, to name a few, were gritty, realistic, funny and sympathetic stories about the ‘ordinary folk’ of northern England.
Many Irish people will be aware of Loach’s two ‘Irish’ films: the powerful interpretation of the Irish War of Independence, the award winning, The Wind That Shakes The Barley and 2014’s brilliant Jimmy’s Hall the true story of the persecution and eventual deportation of Irish socialist Jimmy Gralton.
Loach’s latest film, I Daniel Blake was the recipient of the much-coveted Palme d’Or award at the Cannes film festival earlier this year. This was Loach’s second time to receive that award having won in 2006 for The Wind That Shakes The Barley. Whether Loach puts any stock in awards is neither here nor there, what is undeniable is his talent as a filmmaker and I Daniel Blake is outstanding.
ORAL question for answer on 06/10/2016 :
To ask the Minister for Social Protection his views in relation to whether it is appropriate that corporate trustees and trustees can withhold additional benefits to members of occupational pension schemes while securing indemnities for their personal well-being as the assets of the scheme deteriorate; his plans to deal with pension governance in this area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Clare Daly.
Clare tells the Minister for Social Protection that the scandalous way the CRC Pension Plan was wound up has to be addressed, and warns him that if he doesn’t act, there will be far-reaching implications for other Defined Benefit pension schemes.
Clare submitted questions for Oral answer by the Minister for Social Protection on the 25th of May on the continuing inequity of women who were subject to the so-called ‘marriage bar’ (a system that prevailed up until the 1970s whereby women who got married had to leave their jobs) receiving reduced pensions because of it; and on the introduction of a universal second-pillar pension system. Her questions were not selected from the lottery, unfortunately, but you can read the Minister’s answers below.
Question No: 40 Ref No: 11638-16
To ask the Minister for Social Protection given the budgetary surplus reported in his Department and further to Parliamentary Question Number 9 of 30 September 2015, in which the former Minister stated, in relation to plans to address the inequality experienced by persons who are in receipt of reduced pensions because of the marriage bar, that ‘we do not as yet have the resources as a country to be in a position to fund what it would cost’; and if he will now address this issue.
– Clare Daly.
For ORAL answer on Wednesday, 25th May, 2016.
R E P L Y
The ‘marriage bar’ describes a rule that existed in most of the public service and some private sector employments, where women were required to leave their employment on marriage. This practice was abolished in 1973 when we joined the EEC. As employees in the public service generally paid a reduced rate of PRSI which provided no cover for the State pension, the marriage bar would not have impacted on State pension entitlement. It would have impacted on their continuing public service employment, and eventual entitlement to a Public Service pension. This is a matter for the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.