The President of Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers (ICMSA), Jackie Cahill, has launched a blistering attack on the Government's proposed levy on private pension plans which he described as just the latest evidence of an astonishing reluctance on the part of the Government to deal with the public sector and private sectors on anything like an equal footing. Mr Cahill said that nobody should be under any illusions as to the real fundamental nature of the proposal: When all the verbiage was stripped away the levy was nothing less than an out-and-out assault on private property and was, in addition, probably unconstitutional. The ICMSA President said the reaction of farmers and other self-employed individuals would change very quickly from open-mouthed astonishment to cold fury.
"The sheer arrogance of the best paid and best pensioned politicians and civil servants in the world to even propose such a levy is astounding. Furthermore, it's worth remembering that it was the sheer incompetence of these same political and civil service elites in their management of the state's finances that has already led to the complete collapse in the value of private pension funds. Having presided over that disaster, these same elites now propose to simply help themselves to €500 per annum out of whatever pittance is left. The proposal represents an attack on private property scarcely seem before in a democratic state and is absolutely unacceptable", declared Mr Cahill.
"Self-employed people, who have to make provision for their retirement and old age through their own pension funds, are undoubtedly being singled out under this proposed measure. The exclusion of the public sector pensions from this proposed levy gives the game away. Taken together with the increase in the age at which the State Contributory Pension will be paid, this measure is a direct and vindictive attack on self-employed in their old age. Nor am I convinced that the levy will only last for four years; similar levies in the past were posited as temporary only to then become permanent features of the Government's budgetary process and to disappear completely into the black hole of public sector spending", he continued.
"The readiness of the Government to impose a levy on the funds of private pensions stands in sharp contrast to its unwillingness – or inability – to shut down the huge and ruinous raft of quangos or to reduce public sector pay down to levels that operate internationally. This proposed levy should be opposed by all in the private sector and ICMSA will co-operate with any other organisation to prevent this attack on privately funded pensions", concluded the ICMSA President.
Ends. 6 May 2011.
Jackie Cahill, 087-2820663
Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758
ICMSA Press Office