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Real action needed to tackle excessive pensions of former bankers and Government Ministers – McDonald

7 November, 2012 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD this morning called on the Taoiseach to take real action and introduce emergency taxation measures to tackle excessive pension payments to bankers and former Government Ministers.

Deputy McDonald said:

“President Obama was re-elected last night for a second term. His salary is €315,000 annually. Here at home this kind of money is reserved for retired bankers.

“AIB chief Eugene Sheehy has bowed to public pressure and agreed to accept a reduced pension of only €250,000 annually, a lotto win for most citizens.

“What action will the government take to tackle these super pensions paid for in part or in whole by the public purse? What about other retired Directors in AIB, in Anglo, in Bank of Ireland and in the Permanent TSB?

“Minister Noonan plans to write to former bankers in receipt of bumper pensions. Does he intend to write to holders of ministerial pensions some of who are still in full employment?

“Fianna Fáil’s Pat ‘the Cope’ Gallagher is an elected MEP and yet is still in receipt of a Ministerial Pension of over €70,000. Alan Dukes, former leader of Fine Gael receives a pension of €95,000 plus a salary from his role in IBRC. The Labour party’s Dick Spring receives an annual pension of €120,000 as well as his fee as a public interest director in AIB.

“The Taoiseach told the Dáil yesterday that there is a legal impediment to introducing a levy to recoup super pensions for politicians and bankers. Of course this is nonsense. The government has already introduced a meagre levy on public sector pensions over €100,000.

“It’s absolutely unacceptable that the government’s sole strategy to tackle massive public sector pension inequity is simply to hope that those in receipt of bumper pensions can be guilt tripped into giving some of their super bucks back.

“Fine Gael and Labour never wrote to the mothers of Ireland asking could they voluntarily give up their child benefit, they just went ahead and did it. If this government wanted to deal with the massive pay and pensions inequity that is embedded within the public sector and the banks it could end excessive pensions at the stroke of a pen.”


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