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Morgan slams TDs claiming Ministerial pensions

9 July, 2009

Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Arthur Morgan TD has severely criticised the Oireachtas Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices Bill for allowing serving TDs in receipt of Ministerial pensions to retain a massive proportion of their pensions. Deputy Morgan accused members of the Oireachtas in receipt of Ministerial pensions of feathering their nests while thousands of workers nationwide have lost their pensions completely.

Speaking in the Dáil today Deputy Morgan said, “Under this Bill, Ministerial pensions paid to serving TDs, senators and MEPs will be cut by 25% and will then be abolished completely after the next general election. For the rest of this Dáil term, instead of getting 50% of the pension, serving members will get 37.5%. Does the government want us to give them a pat on the back? Shall those people standing for hours in queues for social welfare congratulate these public representatives.

“My issue with this Bill and the government that is charged to get this country through a recession is that the pension has not been scrapped entirely. It would seem that these 28 members of the Oireachtas, that are in receipt of the pension, are feathering their nests in anticipation of the complete abolition of the pensions after the next general election – these pensions are a nice little earner and a nest egg, why would they want to give them up?

“It is totally ironic that we are standing here, on the last week of sitting, deliberating a Bill aimed at cutting a meagre 25% off ministerial pensions when workers nationwide have lost their pensions completely. It is ironic that the Government congratulate themselves on their selflessness to cut 25% off a pension when people, after having paid pension contributions all their working lives, find that their pension benefits have dwindled. It is ironic that workers at pension age, the most vulnerable time of their lives, may not be able to claim from pension funds while Members of this very House are able to claim these ministerial pensions WHILE drawing a salary.

“This is not leading by example. The behaviour of retaining any proportion of a ministerial pension until the next general election is simply ludicrous. Latching onto these pensions at the height of a severe recession, when 87,400 people have signed onto the Live Register since January alone is pathetic, and frankly disgusting.” ENDS

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