Institutional survivor says he’s being ‘abused by the State again’

By Maurice Garvey

INSTITUTIONAL survivor David Kinsella feels he is being “abused by the State again” after seeing his pension payments deducted from his Jobseekers Allowance.

Kinsella, from Clondalkin, was shocked to discover that when his pension of €56 per week kicked in after he turned 60 in August, it is being deducted by the Department of Social Protection from his weekly Jobseekers payment of €198.

David Kinsella

David Kinsella holding the book My Name is Bridget by Alison O'Reilly, which tells a story of a Tuam mother and baby home

A long time campaigner of institutional survivors, Kinsella was born in 1958 at St Patrick's Mother and Baby Home on the Navan Road.

He spent four traumatic years at the home and never saw his birth mother again, after she was told to leave when he was approximately one year old.

In a sad twist of fate, Kinsella worked for British Rail in the 1980s, just 15 minutes from where his birth mother was living, but neither knew of each other’s whereabouts.

When Kinsella started working as a store manager for South Dublin County Council in 1996, he paid into a pension fund.

“I opted for voluntary redundancy in 2013 under government austerity and cost cutting measures, thinking I would have got another job,” he said.

“I turned 60 in August, but discovered the Department were reducing my Jobseekers Allowance by €56 per week. I didn’t think my pension would be affected, particularly for adoptees and people trying to get a job.”

Negative effect on his wellbeing

A spokesperson for the Department told The Echo Jobseekers Allowance is a “means tested payment” which looks at all household income, including that of a spouse, civil partner, or cohabitant.

The department said the means test examines cash income, capital and property not personally used, and pensions.

Kinsella says the deduction has had a negative effect on his wellbeing.

“It’s a real slap in the face for someone who has worked all their life. I’m doing a bit of volunteer work with Simon and trying to get work in addiction and mental health after gaining an honours degree.

“Anyone who has a pension of any form should be cautious because if you end up on Jobseekers Allowance, your right to a few extra pounds will be deducted.”

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