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Topic of the Day - Political Pensions

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Máire Geoghegan-Quinn decides to 'gift' back her pensions to the State.

European Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn has decided to give up her Ministerial and Oireachtas pensions. Finance Minister Brian Lenihan announced yesterday evening that the Commissioner had contacted him over the issue.

Ms Geoghegan-Quinn is seeking to have the necessary arrangements put in place to allow her to 'gift' the pensions to the State for the duration of her service as an EU Commissioner. There have been a number of calls in recent days on Ms Geoghegan-Quinn to surrender the pensions, which are worth over €100,000.

Her salary as a Commissioner is just under €250,000. Fine Gael has published legislation to remove ministerial pensions from all sitting Oireachtas members. The legislation, an amendment to the existing legislation, would remove the pensions from sitting Oireachtas members with immediate effect. The Labour Party is to draw up legislation to ban the payment of ministerial pensions to serving politicians.

Today on the Afternoon Show, we're joined by Shane Coleman, a political correspondent with the Sunday Tribune, to discuss the pension issue and what it might mean for the body politic.