Fianna Fáil Finance spokesperson Michael McGrath has condemned a Sinn Féin election proposal to restrict the ability of people to save for their retirement.

According to their manifesto published today Sinn Féin want “a staggered reduction of private pension tax reliefs.”

Michael McGrath commented “Workers earning more than €33,800 who make a pension contribution would see their take home pay reduced as a result of Sinn Fein’s proposals.

“A single person earning €50,000 and making a typical pension contribution of 6% would lose €600 under Sinn Féin’s proposal. This is simply a savage attack on those are already struggling to meet household bills.

“Pensions are not a luxury, whether for public or private sector workers. They are the savings that hard-working individuals carefully put away over the years so they can look after themselves in their old age rather than rely solely on the State. It is important to remember that pensions are fully taxed when drawn down. Pension tax relief at the marginal rate is essential to maintaining the incentive to save for retirement.

“Sinn Féin’s proposal is typical of their approach to try and hook wink the public. While they claim to look after low and middle income earners, buried in the detail are measures that will have hugely detrimental effects on family incomes,” concluded Mr. McGrath.