Thursday, January 20, 2011

Retiring Ministers Should Forgo Double Pensions- O'Leary

Retiring Ministers Should Forgo Double Pensions- O'Leary

Sinn Fein councillor Chris O’Leary has said retiring ministers should show leadership by forgoing either their ministerial or Dail pension and not accept a double payment.

Cllr O’Leary said:

“In the last budget, the weekly incomes of social welfare recipients were cut and workers on low and middle incomes were hit with a 7% levy.”

“Several of the Ministers who sat around the cabinet table and approved that budget are now retiring with massive pension entitlements, paid out of the public purse. Health Minister Mary Harney, for example, will receive a €300,000 pay-off followed by an annual pension of €120,000. This while her department is suffering massive cutbacks, and unprecedented numbers of patients are waiting on hospital trolleys this winter.”

“Given the hardship being suffered by so many people at the moment, is it too much to ask these ministers to forgo just one of their dual pensions? In the case of Mary Harney, for example, she could choose to retain either her Dáil pension of €50,600 or her ministerial pension of €70,000, and forgo the other. Either would be a multiple of the sum her government believes social welfare recipients or employees earning the minimum wage require to survive.”

“At a time when public cynicism about politics has never been so high, is it possible that at least some members of this government might provide leadership?”

For further information or comment contact Cllr Chris O’Leary @ 087-2794307

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