Golden goodbye from sorry State
NOEL Dempsey has done the State some service. Now that he has decided to bow out of national politics, that service will be handsomely repaid with a golden goodbye package worth €313,000 in the first year. And he can then enjoy an annual pension of €119,800 -- nearly €30,000 more than a backbench TD's salary.
To be fair to him, he has been among the most active and energetic of the ministers over the past 13 years. He worked hard and fought hard for what he believed in. He was not always right or successful; nor was he always popular with the vested interests his portfolios brought him in contact with.
That was as should be for a man who sought to reform and who, even yesterday, spoke of the need for a radical overhaul of the political system. Critics can justifiably point to the fact he had plenty of time to get something done when the country was booming and government excesses included initiatives such as benchmarking and decentralisation.