Kenny hit by revolt over 'disgusting' pension hike
Published 09/07/2015 | 02:30
Fine Gael TDs have reacted furiously after Taoiseach Enda Kenny refused to take any action to prevent "disgusting" pension increases being paid to former ministers.
Tensions are also growing within the Coalition after Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin took a swipe at Health Minister Leo Varadkar, accusing him of coming up with a "nice, round figure" of €1bn in his demand for extra health funding.
A Fine Gael party meeting became heated as backbenchers turned on Mr Kenny who claimed ex-politicians like Brian Cowen and Bertie Ahern could engage in a "voluntary process" if they wanted to decline generous pension top-ups.
There were angry scenes at the meeting as TDs warned of a backlash from voters unless the top-ups, described as "disgusting" by one TD, were blocked.
Several TDs rowed in behind a proposal to introduce a cap on large-scale pensions which cost the taxpayer more than €1m a month.
A small number of deputies left the meeting after party bosses moved the discussion away from pension top-ups and on to the issue of social media.
The row came on the same day that former Taoiseach Brian Cowen - who received a pension of €134,379 last year - told the Banking Inquiry he was surprised by the impact of the IMF's arrival in Ireland in 2010.