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Golden Handshakes To Politicians To Cease

dail_chamber1Severance payments made to our politicians are now to be abolished, under a Bill which was published by the Public Expenditure Minister Mr Brendan Howlin at lunchtime today.

On a day when more than ten thousand senior citizens, known as “The Grey Brigade” and a small number of younger demonstrators have held a rally outside Leinster House in Dublin protesting against cuts to Medical Cards, Prescription Fees and Job Seekers Allowance, this decision by the present Government, now makes good the promise to end the “golden handshake” payments to retiring Ministers.

Introduced in 1992, under this scheme, TDs departing senior Ministerial Office received a once off payment of nearly €90,000 over a period of two years, while Ministers of State received a somewhat smaller payment.

The reason behind such payments was to help cushion the reduction in salary between being a Minister and ordinary TD.  This payment was treated separate and cast no reflection on future individual pensions for these Ministers and members of the Oireachtas.

This published Bill will also make adjustments to the Party Leaders allowances, paid to political parties. Parties will now have to report to the public ethics watchdog, SIPO, telling them how their funding is spent.

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