Pensions tax - Disgraceful climbdown

Last year, Finance Minister Michael Noonan said that Government would be cutting back next year on pension tax relief on contributions to pensions of over €60,000 a year.

This was purportedly going to benefit the exchequer by around €250m a year, but it seems this was more than double the likely figure.

Now, the changes are only going to apply to pensions of over €100,000 a year. If the measure was considered fair in the first place, surely the fact it will not raise as much as expected is not grounds for abandoning it.

By any standard, €60,000 a year is a generous pension. In a republic, all citizens are supposed to be treated equally, but we have the outrageous situation where Government ministers and higher paid civil servants are according themselves exorbitant pensions.

The Government is backing off the previous proposals at the expense of everybody else. People who will not enjoy an annual pension of near the €60,000 are effectively being forced to fund this extravagance.

Former junior minister Roisin Shorthall noted yesterday that the promised action on the €60,000 pensions should have been introduced long before cuts to education.

The futures of young people will inevitably be affected, and they will ultimately pay for this extravagance, possibly for the rest of their lives.

This is an outrageous affront to both to the integrity of our politics and the intelligence of the electorate.


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