Belfast Telegraph

Martin hits out over pensions levy

The Government unveiled its levy on private pensions without first consulting the state body tasked with regulating retirement packages, it has been claimed.

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin said Finance Minister Michael Noonan had revealed there had been no communication with the Pensions Board before the controversial decision was taken.

Trade unionists, financial advisers and brokers have attacked the 0.6% levy on all private pension funds, backdated to the start of this year, to bankroll the coalition's jobs initiative.

Mr Martin said: "Are you happy, Taoiseach, that the legal role of the Pensions Board has been ignored in this case, and can you finally tell us whether an analysis was carried out on the impact of taking 1.8 billion (euro) from personal pensions?"

Defending the levy, Enda Kenny described it as a "solidarity" contribution.

"It is limited in nature and limited in time and it is designed to create an initiative to provide employment in your constituency and every other constituency around the country," the Taoiseach said.

Mr Kenny said Mr Martin should not "run away with the idea that there are volumes of secret material in the Department of Finance" connected with the levy.

The Fianna Fail leader said the Taoiseach had consistently refused to answer questions on the issue.

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