Aylward hands back ministerial pension
MEP Liam Aylward today became the latest Fianna Fail politician to bow to public pressure and give back his ministerial pension.
Mr Aylward, who represents the Ireland East constituency, wrote to finance minister Brian Lenihan stating he would waive his €12,161.68 payment while serving in the European Parliament.
Two other Fianna Fail politicians have yet to declare their intentions, while Fine Gael and Labour have vowed all their members will voluntarily forego the package.
Rebel TD Jim McDaid yesterday defied massive public pressure and vowed to cling on to his €22,000 nest egg, claiming he was gravely concerned at the manner in which politicians' income is being cut and how it could affect the quality of democracy.
He warned it would allow those of wealth to exert greater influence on the political process.
Mr Aylward served as junior minister at the Department of Education between 1992 and 1994, with special responsibility for youth and sport.
He was Minister of State at the Department of Forestry from November 1988 to July 1989.
Fellow MEP Pat "the Cope" Gallagher, who received a ministerial pension of around €23,634 last year, and TD Noel Treacy, who took home approximately €24,007, have yet to reveal their plans.
On Tuesday former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said he would hand back his €83,000 ministerial pension, a day after European Commissioner Maire Geoghegan-Quinn caved in and relinquished her €108,000 Dail and ministerial package.