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Saturday 21 October 2017

Pensioners claim snub by Howlin over talks

Anne-Marie Walsh

PUBLIC Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin has been warned he will be treating more than 33,000 retired public servants with "outright contempt" if he refuses an urgent meeting on plans to cut their pensions.

The Alliance of Retired Public Servants, representing former nurses, gardai, teachers, and civil servants, claims it has been ignored after making repeated attempts to hold talks with Mr Howlin.

It made the demand after learning its members' pensions face another round of cuts under emergency legislation, during talks on Croke Park.

Although the cuts are not part of the proposed deal, they will mirror pay cuts for staff earning over €65,000-a-year under the deal. The cuts will range from 2pc on pensions over €32,500 to 5pc on those above €100,000.

The alliance said it initially asked to attend the Croke Park II talks but was refused on the basis that the talks were with unions, who do not represent pensioners. It has since written to the minister seeking a meeting on two occasions.

"This is an entirely reasonable request which, if denied, would amount to gross disrespect, if not outright contempt, for a substantial number of pensioners," said spokesman Sean O'Riordain.

Response

"As matters stand, there has been no response."

Minister Howlin and the cabinet have also come under fire from a union for lower-paid civil servants, which dismissed their threat that pay will be cut if they do not back the deal.

In a message to members, the Civil, Public and Services Union described the warning as "scare-mongering".

Irish Independent

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