MARTIN HITS KENNY IN THE POCKET
FROM CATHAL DERVAN
Enda Kenny may be the Taoiseach elect but Fianna Fail have just cost him over $140,000 in pension payments.
The Fine Gael leader has been forced to back down on plans to accept a lump sum payment of $140,000 or an annual check for $30,000 from his teaching pension.
Kenny was backed into a corner by Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin, another former teacher, after confirming that he intended to accept the pension.
Mayo man Kenny only worked as a teacher for four and half years in the 1970s before moving into politics full time
He was accused of ‘rank hypocrisy’ by Martin after admitting his plans to accept the pension but later forfeited all rights to the payments.
Former teacher Martin is not entitled to a teaching pension but two of his party colleagues are – and they intend to take full benefit of their entitlements.
Current minister Pat Carey has already admitted that he accepted a €120,000 pension lump sum pay-off in recent years from 30 years in teaching. Carey claimed: “Yes I am entitled to a pension and I will draw it.”
Fianna Fail deputy leader Mary Hanafin is also accepting an annual pension of almost $16,000 from her time as a teacher.
Their disclosures came as their party leader Martin attacked Fine Gael over the pension issue.
Martin stated: “I think it’s hypocrisy in the sense that Fine Gael have been making an issue of pensions and severance rights throughout this campaign and before it - yet they didn’t come clean in relation to any of those pension entitlements.”
Taoiseach elect Kenny retorted: “Simply because I paid into a pension fund, in case anybody has any illusions that the leader of the Fine Gael party is any way involved in a money situation here, I will not be accepting any pension from the teaching profession.
“I hope that those who are, and those (who) at 50 years of age run away from Dail Eireann on pensions of €100,000 for the rest of their lives think about what they are doing.”
Kenny also challenged Martin to give up his teaching position, still held open for him while he works as a full-time politician.