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'Mean' tax raises €26m

THE GOVERNMENT has raised €26m in just nine months from a heavily-criticised pension rule that allows people to withdraw money from their pensions early – but be taxed heavily for it.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan told the Dail that the rule, which experts called "mean-spirited" when it was introduced in the 2013 budget, earned €25.8m for the state in tax revenues between April and December last year.