Wednesday 29 January 2020

Wallace criticises planned pension cuts for bank staff

TD hits out at move despite failing own workers

Mick Wallace
Mick Wallace

Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor

INDEPENDENT TD Mick Wallace has criticised planned cuts to the pensions of bank workers – despite having been fined €7,000 for not paying pension contributions for his own workers on time.

Mr Wallace has received an apology from Justice Minister Alan Shatter for revealing that he was let off by gardai for using his mobile phone while driving. And it has also emerged that he received a €120,000 out-of-court settlement when he sued the then Minister for Justice and Garda Commissioner for wrongful arrest.

In the Dail yesterday, he joined with Independent TDs Thomas Pringle and Clare Daly in bringing up the issue of 1,200 Permanent TSB staff who are facing huge cuts to their pensions.

He said that one worker who was due a pension of €20,000 per year might now be left with €7,000 due to the forthcoming closure of the bank's defined benefit scheme.

"These people may end up being dependent on the State in some form and they will be unable to contribute to the domestic economy in the manner they would have expected. It is a case of losers all around and it is nuts," he said.

But back in 2011, Mr Wallace was fined €7,000 after pleading guilty to five counts of late payment of pension contributions for workers in his M&J Wallace construction company.

The Pensions Board initiated proceedings at Dublin District Court after the developer-turned-politician failed to pay €49,311 to the Construction Workers Pension Scheme between January 2008 and January 2010. Construction firms are legally obliged to take money from workers and pay it into the scheme.

A spokesman for Mr Wallace said he had paid all the money owed for pension contributions.

"That was settled. There's no outstanding business," he said.

He added that Mr Wallace had sent a solicitor's letter to the Irish Independent in relation to the story about his €120,000 out-of-court settlement.

Irish Independent

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