Minister of State for Finance, Simon Harris, has today (Wednesday) warned voters that Fianna Fáil cannot be trusted on pensions policy. He pointed out that Fianna Fáil is criticising Sinn Féin for adopting a pension policy first proposed by Fianna Fáil.
“Sinn Féin was exposed last week when it was revealed that the Party’s pensions tax relief policy would hammer someone on €40,000 by as much as €800 a year.
“Last night, Micheál Martin attacked Gerry Adams on this policy during the Leaders’ Debate. He said it would be a ‘devastating blow to average income earners’ and the policy has been ‘hidden for the duration of this campaign’.
“But Micheál Martin is trying to hide the fact that Fianna Fáil consistently proposed this policy themselves over the last seven years. Before the Troika even arrived, the 2009 Fianna Fáil-Green Programme for Government proposed cutting the tax relief. The bailout agreement proposed it, as did Fianna Fáil’s Four Year Recovery Programme.
“Fianna Fáil again proposed the policy in their 2013 pre-budget submission, when they said they would take €330 million per year from people saving towards their retirement. It’s incredible that Micheal Martin is attacking Sinn Féin for a policy he himself proposed. Not only did his Fianna Fáil Government propose it three times, he proposed it as Leader of the Fianna Fáil party two years ago.
“Older people have long memories, and they will not forget that Fianna Fáil promised in its
2007 manifesto to increase the State Pension to €300, only to abandon that promise and abolish the Christmas Bonus two years later.
“Fine Gael will increase the State Pension by €25 over the course of the next five years and we have an integrated pensions policy to help people save towards their retirement. Pensions may not be the hottest election topic, but they are extremely important, and the public deserves to know that Fianna Fáil is talking out of both sides of its mouth on this, like so many other policies.
“Fianna Fail’s u-turns and broken promises show that they simply cannot be trusted on pensions. And everything else.”