Sunday 25 February 2018

Debt-laden professionals can expect no sympathy

Once immune to recession, the great and good of our country are now in deep financial trouble, says Maeve Sheehan

WHEN a retiring District Court judge criticised the government's plans to tackle judicial pay last week, he inadvertently highlighted the plight of the professional classes.

Judge Michael Pattwell was actually speaking out against the government's plans to hold a referendum to cut judicial pay -- a "populist" and economically questionable exercise that he claimed would save €250,000 a year. But he also declared he knew "for a positive fact" that there were some judges who were struggling financially and couldn't afford a pay cut.

The financial difficulties of some of our highest office-holders have long been rumoured and are gaining traction. Only last month an anonymous judge told the Irish Times that the recently announced tax on private pensions could leave some retiring judges with a tax bill of €400,000.

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