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Levy shatters confidence

Sir -- I just want to express my thanks to you and your staff for highlighting the injustice of the raid on private pensions. At times we are critical of the media, but on balance you are the saviour of this country. Without you, the ordinary citizen would be trampled upon by politicians.

Only a couple of months ago our airwaves were full of them looking for votes. Yet on such a serious moral issue as this, not one of them had the decency or courage to speak out against the raid on private pensions. Can you believe it, 120 of them on the government benches and not a man or woman among them!

Apart from the financial loss imposed on citizens by the levy, the proposal shatters confidence. So much so that many of us are now moving whatever savings we have out of the post office and other institutions. I feel that I cannot trust this government anymore.

I have a question for Mr Noonan and, so far, nobody has challenged him on this.

A few short weeks back he said in the Dail that he was unable to do anything about a very large pension pot awarded to former AIB boss Colm Doherty because of contractual arrangements and pension legislation.

Yet on Tuesday last, as quoted on the Department of Finance website, he appeared to have no difficulty in changing the self-same contractual arrangements and pension legislation to rob the ordinary person. Could you ask Mr Noonan to explain the difference between Colm Doherty and me?

Hope you can read my scribble, Mr Fanning. Thank you again for your support, and hopefully one of your people might chase our Finance Minister for an explanation.

John McNally

Naas, Co Kildare

Retrospective difficulties

Sir -- In last week's edition of the Sunday Independent, I am quoted as saying that the proposed pension levy may be unconstitutional. In fact, my comments were made in respect of a more specific point, namely, the possibility that the imposition of the levy might be backdated or made retrospective.

Gerry Whyte,

Law School,

Trinity College Dublin

Sunday Independent