McCreevy’s €1.2m golden handshake
By Mary Regan, Political Reporter - Monday, November 30, 2009
CHARLIE McCREEVY will get a golden handshake package worth more than €1.2 million when his term as Ireland’s representative on the European Commission ends in the new year.
Mr McCreevy will get an EU Commissioner pension of €51,068 per year on top of his ministerial pension of €70,710 and pension as a Kildare North TD of €52,213. This will bring his total annual pension to over €173,000.
The outgoing Commissioner for Internal Markets is entitled to a step-down payment of €537,000 over the next three years to help him adjust to losing his generous salary.
He will also get a lump sum of just under €20,000 on leaving office in January as a "resettlement allowance" to help his move from Brussels back to Ireland.
Mr McCreevy will not have to pay tax on these payments in Ireland, but will have to pay a "community tax" which is paid directly back into the EU’s budget.
During his five-year term in Brussels, Mr McCreevy earned more than €1.4 million including an annual salary of €238,919 as well as a €35,837 "residence allowance" for staying in Brussels and a €7,248 annual entertainment allowance. During this time, he continued to earn his €71,000 annual ministerial pension, which was not reduced when ministers took a pay cut earlier this year.
While his step-down payments will be made straight away, Mr McCreevy’s commissioner pension will not be made available until he turns 65 in five years’ time. It will be worth €853,000 over 16 years. Incoming commissioner, former justice minister Máire Geoghegan Quinn will earn a similar salary and will be entitled to continue claiming her €60,811 ministerial pension and €44,310 TD pension.
Mr McCreevy’s term officially ended in October. But, because of delays in ratifying the Lisbon Treaty, he and his colleagues are staying on in a "caretaking" roll until the new team is put in place. That will not happen until after January when the new commissioners will have to answer questions of the European Parliament, which has to approve the entire commission before it is officially put in place.
Talk about “fiddling while the Republic burns”. This boggles one’s mind. We thought that our American politicians took good care of themselves. They are mere babes in the woods in comparison to the likes of Mr. McCreevy and Co. This level of pure greed is absolutely disgraceful while the country is on the brink of economic disaster.