Thursday 14 December 2017

Ex-ministers stay silent on €8.8m pension pot

Dick Spring: among the
highest earners
Dick Spring: among the highest earners

Fiach Kelly and Michael Brennan

FORMER ministers working in lucrative jobs last night declined to say if they would hand their State pensions back to the public purse.

Some of the highest earners include former Tanaiste Dick Spring, and former Taoiseach John Bruton.

It comes after new figures this week revealed 109 ex-ministers share an annual pension pot of €8.8m at a time when the Government is slashing spending to reduce an €18bn deficit.

Mr Spring would not comment when asked if he would give his pension back to the State until he completely retired from working.

The former Labour leader, who is a public interest director of AIB bank, has a ministerial pension of €121,108.

He receives a basic salary of €27,375 from AIB. He is also a non-executive director of Fexco Holdings, and is on the board of Repak, the Realta Global Aids Foundation and Diversification Strategy Fund.

The former Kerry North TD is also chairman of a consultancy company International Development Ireland, Kerry-based technology company Altobridge Limited and fund managers Alder Capital.

Mr McDowell, who has returned to work as a senior counsel, said he had donated all of his pension payments to charities since 2008 -- although he declined to reveal which ones.

Former PD junior minister Tom Parlon insisted he would not give up his pension of €31,192, even though he is the director general of the Construction Industry Federation (CIF).

He said that reports he was on €250,000 with the CIF were "totally unrelated to any reality".

Mr Bruton gets a pension of €141,849 and now works as a part-time ambassador for the IFSC. He is also a director of industrial firm Ingersoll Rand.

Efforts to contact Mr McCreevy, who gets a pension of €119,177, were unsuccessful. He sits on a number of boards, such as Ryanair and financial services group Worldspreads.

Ray MacSharry, another former Fianna Fail finance minister, could also not be contacted.

Mr Dukes, who is chairman of Anglo-Irish Bank, did not return calls. Mr Dukes was paid €127,000 by Anglo last year, after taking a pay cut of around €100,000. His TD and ministerial pension is worth €94,467,

Sitting MEP Pat 'The Cope' Gallagher said he is giving €20,000 of his €70,000 pension to charity.

Former Fianna Fail MEP Eoin Ryan, is getting a combined TD and ministerial pension of around €53,000.


But he is also earning a salary of €131,000 because the previous Fianna Fail-led Government appointed him as the Irish representative on the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development last year. And he is going to get a pay rise to €158,000 next year because he is going from "alternate director" to "director" in the bank. He could not be contacted for comment.

Newstalk presenter and former Fine Gael TD and minister Ivan Yates is getting a ministerial and TD's pension of €74,836. He also could not be contacted for comment.

Irish Independent

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