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Taoiseach entitled to a double pension of €150,000

TAOISEACH Brian Cowen will be immediately entitled to two pensions worth around €150,000 in total per year on his retirement.

He has almost 27 years' service in the Dail, which means he qualifies for a full TD's pension worth around €50,000 per year.

And he will be entitled to a ministerial pension of around €100,000 per year based on his Taoiseach's salary. Mr Cowen will receive a tax-free pension lump sum of around €150,000 (three times the value of his TD's pension) and a termination lump sum of around €16,000.

As a former Taoiseach, he will also qualify automatically for a state car with a garda driver. However, this practice is currently being reviewed by Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan.


Mr Cowen will also be entitled to a special allowance to pay for two secretaries for up to five years after he steps down -- and then one secretary for as long as he likes after that.

Mr Cowen (51) can receive both his Taoiseach's pension and his TD's pension immediately because they can be paid out once a retired politician reaches the age of 50.

Independent councillor Sean Canney, who is running in the Galway East constituency, said the massive lump sums and pension payments were a "gross obscenity".

"It is very cynical of the politicians to pay themselves such exorbitant amounts, while at the same time applying maximum taxation on the general public," he said.

Mr Canney said no other country in the world could afford the current level of payments to retiring politicians and called on all political parties to "stop the scandal".

Mr Cowen's salary as Taoiseach (excluding his TD's salary) was cut from €185,000 to €135,000 as part of the Government's efforts to show it was willing to "share the pain", but his pensions will be based on the pre-cut salary.

Irish Independent