Fianna Fáil Seanad Spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform and Meath East Senator, Thomas Byrne has uncovered secret through the Freedom of Information Act that senior civil servants in the Department of Social Protection and the Department of Finance warned government ministers that the proposed Pension Levy which has seen the incomers of Tara Mines Pensioners decimated, would be ‘the worst of all policy outcomes’.
The documents uncovered by Byrne reveal that two state departments as well as the Pensions Board voiced fears about the €1.65 billion levy being spread over four years. Senator Byrne said that government correspondence indicated that the industry made it clear to Taoiseach Enda Kenny that it had no intention of absorbing the levy in its profit margins even though An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, subsequently in the Dáil asked the Pensions Industry to absorb the levy themselves
‘The failed Jobs Initiative that the Tara Mines Pensioners are bankrolling has actually lead to a 20,000 increase in the live register. Clearly the Government TDs in Meath have a poor grasp of the consequences of the policy they have voted in’ added Senator Byrne.
“Micheál Martin has been rightly challenging Taoiseach Enda Kenny to justify his introduction of the Pension Levy in light of the plight of these pensioners and the failure so far of the Government’s Flagship Job’s initiative since its launch in May. It seems to have been brought in for purely political reasons to make the Government look good rather than cogent economic reasons or necessities’ concluded Senator Byrne.