Fine Gael pension row reeks of political opportunism – McGrath

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said that tensions within Fine Gael over attempts to limit pension increases for former government Ministers are absurdly opportunistic and transparent. Deputy McGrath was speaking after it emerged that a Fine Gael parliamentary party meeting allegedly witnessed an ‘internal revolt’ over the Taoiseach’s suggestion that any such move to limit pay increases under the Lansdowne Road Agreement ought to be voluntary:

“The timing could not be more apt in terms of displaying the rank hypocrisy of Fine Gael on this matter.

Where was the revolt and the rebellious spirit within that Party last week and this week when they forced through the Civil Debt (Procedures) Bill which grants extraordinary powers to deduct money from peoples welfare payments and wages?

The silence on that issue from the back benchers which was deafening has now morphed into a self-regarding roar because the issue is closer to home politically speaking.

Top ups for the boys is a cause of a concern for Fine Gael purely because of the optics while cuts for the poor go unchallenged.

It will not be lost on the majority of ordinary people out there that this Government can move heaven and earth to ram through vicious water charge amendments and deductions from social welfare payments while at the same time it disingenuously protests about a pathetic political paralysis when it comes to stopping massive top ups to already lucrative pensions,” concluded Deputy McGrath.

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