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Colm McCarthy: The country is bust -- we cannot keep this gravy train on the tracks

Pensions, particularly of the gold-plated variety, have received elaborate coverage this past week. The furore over excessively generous pensions for politicians has been accompanied by revelations that the taxpayer bailout for AIB has resulted in a massive transfer to that company's (previously underfunded) pension scheme.

The result will be an enhanced ability for AIB to pay out enormous pensions to former executives, many of whom can reasonably be held responsible for the company's insolvency, unless you believe it was an act of God.

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