HARRY McGEE, Political Correspondent
THE COUNTRY’S former top civil servant Dermot McCarthy received a combined retirement and pension package worth over €700,000 after stepping down this summer.
Mr McCarthy, secretary general to the Government, retired in July after 11 years in the position. He was also secretary general to the Department of An Taoiseach. As the taoiseach’s chief adviser, he was entitled to attend all Cabinet meetings.
During his tenure of more than a decade, Mr McCarthy was most associated with the social partnership process. He was secretary general to three taoisigh: Bertie Ahern; Brian Cowen and, in recent months, Enda Kenny. He was the taoiseach’s main adviser during the Northern peace process. He was also in position when the banking sector collapsed; when the economy was thrown into recession and when the previous government was forced to rely on intervention from the EU and IMF.
In addition to his annual pension of €142,670, Mr McCarthy was also paid a once-off lump sum of €428,011. He was also entitled to another special severance payment of €142,670. The overall package was worth €713,000. Details of Mr McCarthy’s package were released to RTÉ under the Freedom of Information Act.
On retirement, all public servants are entitled to a lump sum, worth 1.5 times the final salary. The sum is untaxed for all but the highest earners and has become increasingly contentious in recent years. While Mr McCarthy’s annual salary had fallen from €285,000 to €208,000 as a result of a series of pay cuts affecting high-earning public servants and ministers, his final salary for pension purposes remained the original figure of €285,000, leaving him with the lump sum of €428,000.
He will pay no tax on the first €200,000 of the €428,000 but following changes in this year’s Finance Act will pay tax of 20 per cent (or €45,600) on the remaining €228,000. The net worth of the lump sum is €382,400.
A Government spokeswoman said it was committed to ending the “exceptionally generous pension regime” for those at the top of the public and private sectors.
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What can one say this is just sickening? A servant of the people someone who was supposed to be working for the citizens of Ireland, a civil servant ending up with this kind of pay off , a pension 15 times more than the average citizens pension this
is shear madness and outright immoral .When we cant go one day without hearing
about ordinary people struggling to meet their mortgage payments ,hospitals
been closed down because of lack of public funds .For God sake we cannot allow
this kind of outright blatant abuse of public moneys be plundered and given to the chosen few who are not accountable to anybody ,who seem to be entitled to such vast sums of our money.
The government of the day are not going to stop this plunder of the public purse because they are themselves in line to collect their own entitlements when they are eventually kicked out of “Public Office”.We the people are the gobshites as we are just sitting back and whinging about this state of affairs and we consistently vote the same conmen and woman into public office. Take a look at the coke park agreement; the government decide to protect the civil servants from the new reality,(this country cannot afford to
keep 300,000 people in the pay from the public purse at the rate of pay they
are getting ) The private sector has had to cut their cloth but the politicians chose to ignore this reality and instead choose to take from the already poor, unemployed and cut hospital services instead ,but this action will not save the country it has only extended the pain as we continue to create more and more debt trying to ignore this elephant in the room .
Obviously I am not talking about civil servants who are on the
average national wage. I’m talking about the likes of this Mr McCarthy who will
never have to worry about health services or mortgage payments thanks to the downtrodden citizens of Ireland who will keep him in the laps of luxury for the rest of his
life .He is not alone I suspect we the people are keeping about 120,000 x-politicians,
top civil servants, in this state .These same people are from time to time
rolled out and they tell the rest of us that we need to tighten our belts .When
will we wake up in this country and rid ourselves of these leaches ????
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