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Dublin: 3 °C Wednesday 13 November, 2019

Noonan didn't consult with Pensions Board before confirming levy

The finance minister confirms the Pensions Board was not formally consulted over the move to fund the jobs initiative.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

THE FINANCE MINISTER Michael Noonan has acknowledged that the Pensions Board was not formally consulted before the government pressed ahead with its levy on private pensions.

The levy was announced last month, as the main method of funding the government’s €1.9bn jobs initiative – and provoked indignation among many, who were furious that their private savings were being tapped by the government.

“There was no formal consultation by me or my Department with the Pensions Board in advance of the Government’s decision to introduce the pension levy to fund the Jobs Initiative,” Noonan wrote in response to a question tabled by FF TD Michael McGrath.

The only input the Pensions Board had had was through the routine contact with “interested parties” in both the private and public sectors, Noonan said – though he declined to publish details of the contributions the board had made.

McGrath said he was “shocked” at the revelation, and asked how proper debate could be held on the jobs initiative in the Dáil when the government had not consulted with the interested bodies before publishing its proposals.

The Pensions Board is a statutory agency set up 21 years ago to monitor pensions savings and offer advice on the subject to the Minister for Social Protection.

Noonan defends pension levy in face of ‘hysterical’ criticism >

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Gavan Reilly

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