Taoiseach: I don't speak for retired politicians

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said today that he has no control over the pay of former politicians.

Sinn Féin has criticised the Government for reducing the wages of graduate nurses, while allowing large pensions for former office holders.

"As for those former politicians you refer to, I don't speak for them," said the Taoiseach.

"Clearly, I commend all of those who did abide by the agreement.

"I listened to the news this morning on names that were given out and that.

"Clearly, this Government have made decisions for the future, about all politicians, about ending severance pay, about the reduction in wages, about the reductions in salaries and therefor the impact on pensions."

It emerged earlier that seven of 116 former Government Ministers are taking a reduction in their pensions.

The Coalition's being criticised for offering 1000 new nursing jobs at 80% of the previous starting salary.

It has also emerged that on the day he stepped down from his seat in 2011, former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern asked for his full pension package to be re-instated.

That move came after he initially gifted €80,000 of his €150,000 pension entitlement to the State, following controversy surrounding rules allowing sitting TDs to claim ministerial pensions.

The Irish Independent made the discovery through Freedom of Information requests.

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