Saturday 22 July 2017

Treacy buys time as McDaid sticks to guns

ine Kerr Political Correspondent

DEFIANT Fianna Fail backbencher Noel Treacy last night claimed he needed to consult with his family and bank manager before deciding on whether to surrender his lucrative ministerial pension.

The Galway East TD -- one of just four Fianna Fail TDs and MEPs that have yet to give up their ministerial pensions -- said he was going to reflect on the issue over the next week.

He said he had made no decision on his pension which is worth €24,007, according to provisional 2009 figures.

The failure of Mr Treacy and Donegal North East TD Jim McDaid to surrender their pensions has piled pressure on the Government and Taoiseach Brian Cowen ahead of a vote on the issue next week.

It will also spell major difficulty for the Green Party over how it should vote on a Fine Gael motion that will single out Fianna Fail TDs and MEPs who are refusing to join others in surrendering their pensions.

Green Party leader John Gormley has repeatedly called on all serving TDs, senators and ministers to do the "right thing" and forego the pensions.

Mr Treacy insisted the matter was not causing concern among his constituents and that no instructions had come from Mr Cowen.

He dismissed comments made by Foreign Affairs Minister Micheal Martin who earlier claimed "pensions are for when you retire".

"I didn't make the rules. I inherited them," Mr Treacy said.

Refusing

His party colleague and former Arts, Sport and Tourism Minister Jim McDaid is also refusing to forgo his ministerial pension.

He was expelled from the Fianna Fail parliamentary party in 2008, and is drawing down a pension worth €22,487.

Mr McDaid said there had been a media "witch hunt".

"The political establishment has taken hit after hit, it's one thing after the other," he said.

If politicians have to relinquish all pensions, politics will only be in the "reach of the wealthy", he said.

Irish Independent

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