Pat the Cope Gallagher
"Together, and supporting one another we can do better for Donegal"
Deputy Pat the Cope Gallagher Leas Cheann Comhairle has said that the anomalies created by changes to the State Contributory Pension in 2012 must be addressed by the Government this year. In 2012 the then Fine Gael Government introduced changes to the band rates for entitlement to the State Pension. This resulted in thousands of people, and women in particular, receiving a reduced pension payment, leading to financial hardship in many cases.
Pat the Cope added in some instances people lost in the region of €30 per week or €1,500 per annum. This is a significant sum of money for most individuals but particularly for those solely reliant on the State pension. Fianna Fáil brought forward a motion on this very issue in October which was passed in the Dáil and now we want to see action being taken by the Government to address these anomalies.
Pat the Cope stated it can no longer be justified that these anomalies remain in place, the changes introduced by the previous Government were wrong and they continue to do gross injustices to those who are in receipt of a lesser pension. I believe that the Government must begin the process of reversing, on an incremental basis if necessary, the changes introduced in 2012. This should be prioritised by Minister Doherty in 2018 and measures introduced to help those disadvantaged by this political decision.
Pat the Cope concluded by stating “I am aware that a review of this issue is underway and is due to be brought before Cabinet shortly. Following this, I expect Minister Doherty to immediately begin the process of putting in place a pathway to correcting one of the most punitive and unfair policies introduced by her Party.”
Pat the Cope Gallagher
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Pat the Cope was born in Burtonport and has lived in Dungloe, Co.Donegal all his life where he attended Roshine and Luinneach National School and thereafter Dungloe High School and Coláiste Éinde Gaillimh.
He obtained his Commerce degree from NUI Galway in 1970. From 1970 to 1981, he was involved in the fish processing sector. Pat the Cope has been married to Ann Gillespie for twenty five years. He has been a board member of the Rosses Community School Board of Management, Killybegs Tourism and Training College and the Donegal Vocational Education Committee to name but a few.
An enthusiastic GAA and Celtic FC supporter, he follows both as much as he can.
Small businesses are the engine of the Irish economy. SME’s in Donegal require more support from government with access to credit a major concern.
Rural Ireland is struggling to survive. Rural towns are in decline. Vital public services from post offices and Garda stations face closure. I will fight to reverse this unacceptable failure by this government.
We need a properly funded health service in Donegal that will cater for young and old, including mental health patients. The inability of this government to address the crisis in the health service is totally unacceptable.
Education has always been a key priority of mine. I will continue to seek to deliver the maximum amount of financial support allocated to schools in Donegal and our third level colleges.
The fishing sector is the lifeblood of so many coastal towns and villages throughout Donegal. The small islands off the coast of Donegal also depends so much on fishing. This vital industry supports jobs in areas where few alternatives exist. I will continue to be a strong voice for this important industry, and strive to represent their views to the best of my ability.
Public infrastructure in Donegal needs significant investment, including the provision of broadband, roads, water, sewerage and flood defences. I will campaign vigorously to ensure that Donegal receives the necessary funding from the national exchequer.
I will provide, as I have done over the last 35 years, a constituency office that will deal with any matter regardless of how big or small the issue may be.