Fine Gael and Labour have completely turned their backs on hard pressed workers in order to protect the large pension pots of high earners including Sean Fitzpatrick and Michael Fingleton and many other wealthy people from the reach of the punitive private pension levy. Those people who transferred their pension funds into Approved Retirement Funds (ARFs) are exempt from this new levy.

Deputy Fleming said: “This is a disgraceful decision by the Minister for Finance, endorsed by Fine Gael and Labour Ministers and voted on by Fine Gael and Labour TDs.  I proposed a very simple amendment to the Finance (No.2) Bill 2011 this afternoon which would have brought the wealthiest people with the largest pension pots within the reach of the levy.”

“The is a law that protects the richest in our society at the expense of hard working families who have built up modest pension pots over many years.”

Deputy Fleming said: “I was shocked by this decision, particularly by the Labour party, whose members went out of their way to vote against my amendment in the Dáil today.”

“The only excuse offered by Minister Michael Noonan was that these people are already paying two and a half percent tax on their pension pots and it would be unfair on them to be included in the new levy.”

Deputy Fleming concluded: “Despite all their rhetoric this new Fine Gael and Labour Government is commencing their period in office by protecting the rich, wealthy and most powerful in society at the expense of ordinary people.”Have I cann