Monday 20 November 2017

Law change is only way I'll give up €138k pension, says Bruton

FORMER Taoiseach John Bruton won't be showing any leadership when it comes to cutting his massive pension.

The ex-politician is drawing €138,000 from the strangled public coffers every year while also working as chairman of the IFSC.

Mr Bruton has insisted that he would give up part of his pension only if others like Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen were forced to do the same.

The finance chief says the Government would have to introduce a law to cut his lucrative pension.

"I don't think politicians should be singled out," he said today.

Changes brought in during the December Budget slashed Mr Bruton's pension payment by a measly €3,350.

The cut is unlikely to cause Mr Bruton to lose any sleep, with the measure meaning he will only lose €64 per week.

Some high profile politicians -- such as newly-elected President Michael D Higgins -- have recently announced that they are giving up their pensions.

However Mr Bruton has said that he is clinging on to his unless the Government forces him to do otherwise.

He stressed that he has given "35 years continuous service" to the State, without ever holding down a "permanent position".


"During that time I acquired pension entitlements similar to other public servants," he said.

"If the Government makes decisions about public servants' pensions generally I have no issue with that.

"But I don't think service as a politician is any less worthy than any other form of service, particularly as politicians have been directly and personally selected by the people in a way that other public servants are not."

And the former EU ambassador put it to the Government that if it intends to cut his pension, it must impose the cut "across the board".

He added: "If the Government feels it wants to change it, they can do so.

"But whatever changes are applied should be applied across the board, I don't think politicians should be singled out, and I don't think people should be singled out to be questioned just because they're performing a public role."

The Government was ridiculed in November when its so-called 'super pension' cuts reduced payments to the likes of Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen by just €80 per week.

Mr Bruton is currently serving as the chairman of the IFSC, having also worked as the EU ambassador to the US since leaving the Dail in 2004.


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