IRELAND - The legality of measures to discontinue pension payments to former minsters still serving in parliament has been called into question by the Irish attorney general.
The move would require a change in the law, with the government due to announce a Bill on this matter shortly.
Just over 30 TDs would be affected by the cut and would be required to vote on the measure if it were to go ahead. The affected TDs will receive pensions as normal when they retire.
According to Irish newspaper The Post, the Irish attorney general has warned there could be legal problems in removing pension benefits should any of the affected TDs vote against the change.
Facing a severe budget shortfall and the need to slash spending, the pension cut is just one of a range of measures designed to reduce costs.
In the budget last week, Lenihan also announced plans to allow civil servants to retire early with generous tax advantages to their lump sums. The civil servants would not be replaced upon retirement, as part of a bid to cut overall staffing numbers (Globalpensions.com; 8 April 2009).
The office of the taoiseach did not reply to requests for comment as we went to press.
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