Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics

Why do we actually pay the pensions of the public paid elite anyway?

Posted by Jason O on Apr 26, 2010 in Irish Politics

Listening to the recent hoo-haa over Commissioner MGQ’s pension, I was reminded of the way things used to be. There was once a time when most public sector workers and TDs were paid quite badly. But the deal was that the pension was quite good, as compensation. Then we got benchmarking, and suddenly we have created a situation where large volumes of cash (MGQ’s pension of €106K a year would be the equivalent of living off the interest of a €5 million Lotto win) are being paid in pensions to people who can, let’s be honest, afford to fund their own pensions.

Which raises the Holy Grail question. Why does the public have to pay for the pensions of people who are well paid and can afford to fund their own pensions, thank you very much?

Why doesn’t the state just say that anyone on the public teat earning more than, say €55k just pay for their own pension?

On a different note, I see that the government are wheeling out the usual “Advice of the AG which says that we can’t do anything about anything. Sorry” on this. We could always have a referendum permitting the government to modify public pensions, but that would involve FF actually meaning what they say, so don’t hold your breath. Dan Boyle has been tweeting that something needs to be done. Wow. I’ll say one thing, if the Greens ever get into power they’re really going to turn the place upside down!     

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