Canney condemns ‘obscene amounts of money’ paid to retiring TDs

Retiring politicians will reap a massive €10 million in golden handshake payments, a level of taxpayers money that is “absolutely shocking”.

This is the view of Galway East Independent candidate councillor Sean Canney who has described as “ a gross obscenity”, the massive lump sums and pension payments which politicians receive.

Cllr Canney is calling on all political parties to immediately publish proposals to “eliminate the scandal of the payment of obscene amounts of money to retiring politicians”.

According to the Tuam based councillor, lump sum payments as high as €388,855 are being paid out now to retiring TDs and these lump sum are also being accompanied by pensions as high as €155,892 every year for the rest of a recipient’s life.

“No country in the world could afford that level of payments,” he said. “A TD only has to have a maximum of 20 years service to secure a full pension, worth half their salary, and in addition they get a lump sum of 1.5 times their salary.”

A recent report by the Comptroller and Auditor General estimated that if the politicians were funding the pension themselves they would have to pay pension contributions of 70 per cent of their annual salary while in office. At the moment ministers only contribute around nine per cent of their salary.

“It is very cynical of the politicians to pay themselves such exorbitant amounts while at the same time applying maximum taxation on the general public in order to fund those pensions,” Cllr Canney said. “I am now calling on all political parties to set out clearly their proposals to stop this scandal. Failure to deal decisively with those payments will smear the standing of politicians in people’s eyes even more.”

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