‘Roadmap for Pensions Reform’
Sir, – As a pensioner who has yet to study the small print of the Government’s “Roadmap for Pensions Reform 2018-2023”, I feel it has to be welcomed in principle, although the implementation date of 2020 is far too leisurely and there is no need for a “third pillar”, which is the preserve of the wealthy (“Almost all workers to be enrolled in pension scheme, State vows”, News, February 28th; “Plan for pension reform must be acted on”, Editorial, March 2nd).
Ideally the third pillar should be scrapped and the revenue accruing from the ending of these tax breaks should go into the general pensions pot.
That is, of course, something a Fine Gael government is unlikely to do. The most significant potential benefit of the other two pillars is that they ask people to pay what are effectively extra taxes, but with the proviso that the money is ring-fenced in a dedicated pensions fund.
Could I suggest that similar models could be applied in areas such as health, education and other public goods?
It might, over time, bring to an end the era of the debt state where successive governments, afraid to impose unpopular extra taxes to pay for vital services, borrow from the international finance markets instead. Sooner or later the ECB, IMF or other international enforcers for the over-extended banks, comes calling and we will all have to pay extra tax anyway to bail them out, with interest!
People might be more willing to accept deductions from their income that go towards something tangible such as better pensions, healthcare or education, rather than having to pay perpetual tribute to the likes of Goldman Sachs. – Yours, etc,