Just seven former ministers give up part of pension entitlements

Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern

Freedom of Information enquiries have uncovered new information about the pensions being claimed by former Fianna Fáil government ministers.

Only seven out of a total group of 116 former government ministers gave up part of their pensions last year, despite the establishment of a simple system allowing them to do so.

The system was set up following a public outcry after it emerged that some serving politicians can claim ministerial pensions.

Today's Irish Independent reports that former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern is among those claiming their full packages, having U-turned on a promise to gift €80,000 of his €150,000 pension entitlement back to the State.

Michael Brennan, Deputy Political Editor of the Irish Independent, said none of the Fianna Fáil ministers in government when the economy collapsed have given anything back.

"Effectively there is no legal obligation on them to volunteer to give back any of their pension," Mr Brennan told Newstalks' breakfast show.

"The case could be made that there is a moral case for them to make some gesture, like some other people have done.

"And incidentally, those (other) people weren't part of a government which led to a bailout, to an enormous property crash, 250,000 people being out of work… and all of the consequences that we are still dealing with today."

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