Ten more TDs likely to waive entitlements
TEN more government TDs, including John O'Donoghue and Willie O'Dea, will qualify for ministerial pensions before the next general election is due in the summer of 2012.
All these TDs will be expected to waive their entitlements when their time comes.
Three TDs whose pensions are due to kick in next month are already stating they won't be taking the payment.
These TDs will be in line for the pension payments precisely two years after their departure from office. Up until that point, they will be on severance payments.
The Government says it is not legally possible to stop the pensions now, but Fine Gael claims its legislation would ban the payments.
Next month, former junior ministers Tom Kitt, John Browne and Michael Ahern will qualify for ministerial pensions -- but they won't be accepting them.
Mr Ahern and Mr Browne were dropped as junior ministers in May 2008 when Brian Cowen became Taoiseach. Mr Kitt quit due to the lack of a promotion offer. In a year's time, another four junior ministers, dropped in April 2009 when Mr Cowen reduced the number of ministers of state, will then qualify for pensions.
This quartet is Michael Kitt, Noel Ahern, Sean Power and Mary Wallace.
But another three ex-ministers dropped on the same day -- Jimmy Devins, John McGuinness and Maire Hoctor -- won't qualify for a pension as they don't have the required two years' service.
In October 2011, former Ceann Comhairle John O'Donoghue will qualify for his ministerial pension, two years after resigning as chairman of the Dail.
And in February 2012, Willie O'Dea and Trevor Sargent will come into the equation -- just months before the Government's full term in office runs out. All three of the ministers due to qualify for the payment next month told the Irish Independent yesterday they would not be taking up the pensions.
Mr Browne said: "No, I'm going to gift it to charity if I can get permission from the Department of Finance. I won't be drawing it down whatever I do."
Mr Kitt said: "I haven't got it yet, but when I do I'll be giving it up."
Mr Ahern said: "I'll gift it to the State."