For the record
•I refer to the article by Sam Smyth and Dearbhail McDonald (Irish Independent, September 16).
The Programme for Government contains a commitment to hold a referendum to address the constitutional problem of applying to the judiciary salary reductions that apply to the public service and also to remove any constitutional doubt surrounding the extension to the judiciary of the public service pension levy. At all times, it was the Government's intention to protect judicial independence and to ensure that the judiciary are treated similarly to others paid out of the public purse.
When publishing the Judicial Referendum Bill, I reiterated the position of the Government and made it absolutely clear that the wording was to achieve these objectives and that it was designed to ensure that no government could target the judiciary alone.