Pensions and other items of delectation. Yis are cutting my pension

Ministerial Pensions

These pensions are granted under existing schemes and legislation

Clearly, there are legal issues about reducing pensions in payment
retrospectively

It must be pointed out that all public service pensions have been
reduced. Under the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest
Act 2010 a reduction was applied across the board to all public
service pensions – the pension remained unchanged and a proportionate
and tiered reduction was applied to all pensions including those of
ministers and their survivors. The reduction was significant: the
tiered cut rises to 12% in respect of any portion of the pension above
€60,000

A number of significant reforms have already been introduced

Since 2004, new members of the Oireachtas have a pension age of 65
Sitting members of the current Oireachtas cannot draw a ministerial
pension at the same time as being members
Any pensions coming into payment after February, 2012 will be based on
the reduced salary levels applying to all public servants and
Oireachtas members.

This Government is determined to continue the reform process:

The new single public service pension scheme, which is before the Dail
at the moment, has a minimum pension age of 66 rising to 67 and 68 –
this applies to all new members of the Oireachtas, including Ministers
Minister Howlin announced this week significant changes to the pension
terms applying to Secretaries-General of Government Departments

Pay and pension arrangements must be reformed – the Programme for
Government commits us to treating politicians in the same way as all
other public servants – Government is committed to this task and has
already shown that we are making significant progress

Government meeting with the banks

The Government Economic Management Council (Taoiseach, Tanaiste,
Minister for Finance and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform)
yesterday met with the senior management of AIB, Bank of Ireland and
Ulster Bank.

Among the issues discussed, the Government asked the banks about their
intentions in relation to passing on to their mortgage customers the
recent ECB interest rate reduction.

Each of the banks stated that, for different reasons, they did not
intend to pass this rate reduction to their variable rate mortgage
customers. The Government members expressed their deep disappointment
at these responses.

The Taoiseach, on behalf of the EMC, spoke to the Financial Regulator
to inform him of the refusal of the banks to pass on this rate
reduction and to assure him that any further support he requires from
the Government in his dealings with the banks will be forthcoming.

Speculation re ‘Two Speed Eurozone’
1. These reports are just speculation and I will not add to that speculation.

2. The Government has always said that the EU should move ahead as a
community of 27. However, the Government has acknowledged that there
may need to be a greater degree of coordination between the eurozone
to resolve and prevent the crises that we are currently experiencing.

3. In this respect, the Eurozone countries have agreed many changes to
how the eurozone operates. We need to implement these changes before
we pursue further treaty change, which will likely take many years to
implement.

4. Given the time that it would take to implement such Treaty change,
it is unlikely any such treaty change would address the current
economic and financial crisis.

See line below re the A5 Road through Northern Ireland to Derry

* Arising from the St Andrew’s Agreement, Ireland is committed
to co-funding the construction of the A5 through Northern Ireland to
Derry thus improving access to Letterkenny and North Donegal.
* The Government remains politically committed to this project;
however, given the tight fiscal constraints, roads investment will be
focused on maintaining existing roads, rather than developing new
routes. It is therefore not anticipated that significant resources
will be available for this project over the medium term.