Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Adams hits out at TD pensions error

Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams said it was 'a disgrace' after a sitting TD was paid his pension in another financial blunder

Government finance chiefs have been forced to admit a second embarrassing blunder after paying a former minister his pension despite him being a sitting TD.

After discovering a 3.6 billion euro debt had been double counted, the Department of Finance revealed it has also been handing out the retirement money by mistake.

John Browne, TD for Wexford and a junior minister in the last Fianna Fail Government, claimed he was unaware the pension payments were being paid into his bank account and said the error beggars belief.

He was paid 7,396 euro from March to November out of an annual ministerial pension of 10,981 euro.

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams said the incorrect pension payment was "disgraceful".

"This money needs to be repaid to the Exchequer immediately," he said.

"People across the state are suffering real hardship and were shocked at the extravagant pension arrangements for former ministers revealed last week."

Mr Browne should not have been receiving the payment after new rules came in last March.

"It beggars belief that incorrect payments are being made at a time when there is so much emphasis on reducing expenditure within the public service," he said.

"The department has apologised for the error and I am making arrangements for full and prompt return of any overpayments."

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