Friday 22 November 2019

Mac the Knife, cut your pension

Madam -- Two particular articles in your paper last Sunday, September 30, caught my attention. One by Ray MacSharry, former Minister for Finance and the other by Michael McDowell, former Tanaiste.

When it comes to our ailing Irish economy, few people are better positioned than Ray MacSharry to articulate the 'cures' required to put the country back on the road to recovery. His article last Sunday is another example of some sensible measures the present Government might consider.

The introduction of his article states: "All payments from the exchequer must be means-tested". I agree with that.

However, before we means-test any payouts let us start with our retired politicians and take Ray MacSharry as an example.

My understanding is that he receives a number of pensions from our bailed-out exchequer.

In the interest of saving Ireland from total financial collapse, I am now asking Ray MacSharry to accept a cap of ¿70,000 per annum on his combined pensions and to ask his many former colleagues in Fianna Fail to do likewise. In addition, I would like to see John Bruton, Alan Dukes and their Fine Gael friends follow suit. Hopefully, Dick Spring of Labour and Des O'Malley of the PDs would also oblige.

Regarding Michael McDowell: Maeve Sheehan writes: "The former Tanaiste, Michael McDowell, has disclosed that he donates his entire State pension to charity." I am sincere when I say that is a very noble gesture. But I do not want Michael McDowell -- or anybody else -- to give their pension to charity. I want you to give it back to the hard-pressed taxpayers in Ireland, who are at their wits' end trying to make ends meet while at the same time doing their best to support our bailed-out exchequer.

Pat Smith,

Newcastle West, Co Limerick

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