26/02/2009

Pension Levy Passes Through Daíl

The hugely controversial pension levy Bill has been successfully passed in the Daíl and is due to be passed into law next week.

The Government easily won the vote on the Bill that was on the end of large scale protests from the workers throughout the country.

Fine Gael have been extremely quiet on the bill and this morning released no statements on the passing of the levy.

However, the Labour party have called for delay on the measure, saying that with public anger at an all time high and a number of impending strikes coming up, the Taoiseach should talk to the unions.

This morning, Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore said: "We are now facing into a spate of strikes over the next couple of weeks.

"The anger being felt by the low-paid worker is understandable when you consider the lowest paid worker in a hospital is having her wages cut while this week the Minister for Health announced that the highest paid people, hospital consultants are to get a huge increase.

"That increase was announced on the very day the HSE announced it is going to cut front line services.

Anger at the proposal, which could see public service workers loose take home pay as their pension contributions are reduced, culminated with a mass protest on Saturday.

A reported 150,000 people took to Dublin's streets, led by the public sectors main unions.

(DW/BMcC)

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