McCarthy targets retired public servants
EXISTING public sector pensions and the state contributory pension should be the next items on the Government's cost-cutting agenda, author of the An Bord Snip Nua report Colm McCarthy said yesterday.
In what is sure to inflame the passions of pensioners, Dr McCarthy said that retired people had so far escaped the severe cutbacks imposed by the Government.
"One area that hasn't been looked at much yet is pensions," the UCD economist told NewsTalk's 'Breakfast with Claire Byrne and Ivan Yates'.
Asked by Mr Yates where the Government could look for cuts in the 2011 Budget, Dr McCarthy added: "I include in that state pensions and the occupational pensions of retired public officials. There have been no changes there.
"Those who rely on weekly social welfare payments, those who are currently employed in the public service have all seen cuts.
"But those who are out on pension, either State pensions or public service occupation pensions haven't had a finger laid on them yet."
His comments echo conclusions in last July's Report of the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes, better known as the Bord Snip report.
That report said the Government should consider "how best to secure an appropriate contribution" from public service pensioners.
"The group observes that the burden of budgetary adjustment both in terms of measures introduced over the past year and of the measures proposed in this report will be borne broadly across most areas of society with the exception of those people currently in receipt of public service pensions."
Public servants have not seen a reduction in their pensions even though the level of their retirement income is linked to the position they retired from, and the person now holding their former position has suffered from the pensions levy and a pay cut, pensions experts explained.