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Jackpot pensions

• Your front page story of Lotto-style payouts to departing civil servants is a devastating indictment of the failure of those in power to grasp the sorry predicament our country is in.

It is obvious they fear more the elite lawyers than the disintegration of the economy (the band played on as the Titanic went down!). The only thing missing in your story are the views of the IMF and ECB about this largesse from that bailout money. They must be appalled.

Could you please forward them a copy of the article. Minister Noonan has such cheek to tell us with all the uber seriousness he can muster that we are in for another very painful Budget in December. At the same time he and his fellow ministers feign powerlessness to act over these super pensions.

Has he not seen what has happened in Libya when the people could take no more? There is a limit as to how far the meek, subservient Irish will have their noses rubbed in the dirt.

I offer a solution to the 'lawyer' problem -- suspend the Constitution and put in a temporary military dictatorship (and there is a man in North Africa looking for a job right now; he rewards failures with little round pointy bits of lead!)

John Hughes

Clonbur, Co Galway

• Your report that 55-plus senior civil servants are in line for "gold-plated exit packages" beggars belief.

And in addition it appears that many of our top consultants are similarly considering early retirement to benefit from this extraordinary largesse.

Coming in the same week that pensioners are having their income cut by €35 per month, by way of cuts to their fuel and electricity allowances, surely this cannot be allowed to go on.

We have ex-ministers and TDs drawing down a king's ransom while many people are facing into the winter not sure if they will be able to keep themselves warm.

This situation is just not acceptable, and contrary to what Kenny and Gilmore claim, there is something that can be done about it.

They can introduce a special tax on all government payouts over a set amount, say €50,000 in any one year.

And that must be done even if it requires a constitutional referendum. The rate should be set at 95pc so as to claw back as much as possible, while leaving an adequate amount to live on. The savings can then be used to reverse the plan to cut the fuel and electricity allowances for those at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder. It might also stave off an exodus from the health service front line, which will be no bad thing either.

And surely Bertie the socialist will have no objections to state funds being distributed more fairly.

Anthony Halpin