Tuesday, 20 October 2015
In the first sentence of his response, the Minister of State said "the public service pension-related deduction, sometimes referred to as the pension levy, applies to the pay of pensionable public service." As stated earlier, they do not pay into a pension fund. I appreciate that they receive a gratuity. It is a one-off payment and is not a pension. I think there is a difference. They were still entitled to that gratuity prior to the introduction of the pension levy, as an emergency measure, in 2009. As matters are improving, consideration should be given in these cases to exempting retained fire-fighters. I would appreciate it if the Minister of State could bring this matter to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform and ask him to re-examine it. Gardaí took a case and they lost it purely because they were paying the pension levy. Being assured of a gratuity is different. If a case was taken to the courts in this instance, what would be the outcome? I would appreciate whatever the Minister of State can do to improve the lot of these retained fire-fighters. When a guy is working with a local authority, pays 10% on his wages - which are €28,000 or €29,000 - then gets another €16,000 as a fire-fighter and has to pay 10% on that, it is a heavy burden on families.