Thursday 24 October 2019

Rabbitte to leave Dáil with €2m pension pot

Ex-Labour leader Pat Rabbitte
Ex-Labour leader Pat Rabbitte
John Downing

John Downing

Former Labour leader Pat Rabbitte will benefit from a taxpayer-funded pension pot of over €2m to fund various payments to him on his retirement after the next election.

Mr Rabbitte yesterday confirmed he is not contesting the next Dáil election - but had no plans on what he may do after that.

The Dublin South West TD said he had no idea what his former Cabinet and party colleague Brendan Howlin was talking about when he cited a future role "in Irish public affairs" for Mr Rabbitte.

"I have nothing lined up - I haven't even thought about it," Mr Rabbitte told the Irish Independent.

But, Mr Rabbitte, who was first elected to the Dáil in June 1989, will also receive the maximum termination payments for the first year after he leaves the Dáil. For the first six months, he will receive a monthly payment of 75pc of his salary and 50pc for the second six months.

These step-down payments will total €54,528 in the first year. He is also entitled to a TD's pension lump sum of €130,887.

In the longer term, Mr Rabbitte's yearly TD pension will be €43,629 and his ministerial pension will be something between €25,000 and €30,000 per year. Details released earlier this year showed that the total pension pot for monies payable to the former Labour leader is worth €2,046,831.

Mr Rabbitte was appointed Communications Minister by Eamon Gilmore in March 2011 but dropped from Cabinet by new Labour leader Joan Burton in July last year. He said he would have felt obliged to stand for the Dáil again if he was still a minister but he also pointed that he will be aged 67 if the election is held next year.

The man who led Labour from 2002 until 2007 said he was aware for some time that he would qualify for a full TD's pension. He said he had not looked at the details of the other entitlements. Mr Rabbitte disagreed with predictions that the party cannot hold its seat in five-seat Dublin South West without him.

He is the third former party leader to quit, after Ruairi Quinn and Eamon Gilmore.

Irish Independent

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