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Fahey deal shows Dail's out of touch

FIANNA Fail TD Frank Fahey's pension entitlements improved by €24,000 a year due to a simple change in the law after he felt he was losing out with the "old' pension scheme.

He had to serve three years as a minister to qualify for a ministerial pension when the general requirement was cut to two years.

A civil servant had written to Brian Cowen, then Finance Minister, pointing out that if Mr Fahey was entitled to a ministerial pension his gross pension would be €60,849 -- a difference of over €24,000 a year.

Mr Cowen wrote to Mr Fahey in April, 2007, saying he would address the issue in a new bill which would remove the anomaly.

Some TDs, including Mr Fahey, have now handed back their pensions after a public outcry.

The whole affair is yet one more example of an apparent disconnect between those in the Dail and ordinary working people who have seen their wages -- and their pensions -- decline disastrously in the past two years.