O Cuiv seeks to 'calm' TDs on elderly cuts
FIANNA Fail backbenchers have told Social Welfare Minister Eamon O Cuiv not to cut the old age pension -- even if it means increasing taxes.
Taoiseach Brian Cowen has said that the vast majority of a €3bn saving in this December's Budget will have to come by cutting spending rather than raising taxes.
Mr O Cuiv's failure to rule out a pension cut "dominated proceedings" at the Fianna Fail parliamentary party meeting last night in Leinster House.
Over 20 TDs and senators warned him not to cut the pension. Among the impassioned speakers were Noel Ahern, Michael Kennedy, Noel O'Flynn, Charlie O'Connor and Noel Treacy.
Mr O Cuiv didn't guarantee the pension wouldn't be cut or means tested, but said no decision taken yet.
"He was there to calm us down and the debate goes on," a party source said.