| 7.3°C Dublin

If this fatcat had any conscience at all he would be giving back some of our money

Charlie McCreevy once said that all most people want from life is a bit of sex, a decent programme on the telly and a few quid in their pockets.

Whatever about his sex life and viewing habits, the former EU Commissioner should certainly be able to tick one of those boxes.

With a fat pension from Brussels as well as a couple of lucrative directorships, the Kildare man with a taste for gambling will have no problem in balancing his books this year.

Whether or not he should be receiving this kind of money from the public purse is another question -- particularly because as Minister for Finance, he was responsible for some of the biggest blunders that landed us in our present mess.

The figure that will really stick in people's craws is the "transitional payment" that is supposedly designed to "facilitate his re-entry into the workplace".

At €11,000 a month, that's an awful lot of facilitating when you consider that he's already landed a new job as a Ryanair director.


Earlier this year, his successor, Maire Geoghegan Quinn, bowed to public pressure and gave up her ministerial pension -- but given his famous brass neck, it's hard to imagine Champagne Charlie making a similar gesture.

McCreevy famously said: "When I have it, I spend it and when I don't, I don't."

He certainly has it now -- and if he has any conscience at all, he should seriously think about giving some of it back.