Wednesday 7 December 2016

Martina Devlin: Nobbling our pensions is only going to store up trouble for future

Published 11/08/2011 | 05:00

School's out, but the School of Hard Knocks continues to offer life lessons. Here's the tutorial for August, boys and girls: only dunces try to solve current difficulties by creating future ones.

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Problem: the tourism sector is suffering. Solution: lower VAT rates to stimulate business. Problem: that would mean less revenue for the Exchequer. Solution: force someone else pay.

So the Government hit on the wheeze of raiding pension funds to offset its VAT reduction. Michael Noonan introduced a 0.6pc levy on private pensions to compensate for the shortfall.

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