RENUA Ireland leader John Leahy has warned the governments new pension plan; ‘’will turn into a stealth tax if it is not monitored closely’’.

Commenting on proposals by Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty that a new scheme will see workers contributing up to 6pc of their wages to a private pension, with that amount matched by employers Mr Leahy said;

‘’All that glitters is not gold and with this government is more often than not anything that glitters is fools gold.

My concern, with this scheme is that, unless our bureaucrats are closely monitored, is that this will become a stealth tax.

There is a real danger that this will evolve into USC under another name.

It is ‘voluntary’ for now, but will it stay that way.

It is also a scheme that is utterly irrelevant to the needs of working people.

Working people do not have a spare six percent for pensions

Unlike the bureaucrats who devised it who get the cheque at the end of the month every month they are living hand to mouth.

They do not have 6% in spare change from their wages.

Employers, particularly SME’s will also struggle to match these demands.

Firms will close, and jobs will be lost for a scheme which, as constituted will not benefit low paid workers’’.

Auto-enrolment is supposed to be aimed at low to middle-income earners who do not have private pensions.

But these are the very people who cannot afford it.

There is a need for greater pension provision.

People, though, must have choice.

A scheme like the SSIA would be far more appropriate

Any scheme to be run by a central authority that will command respect; like the NTMA or the Revenue.

Public confidence would not be high about entrusting our fly by night state with billions of Euros of tax-payers money every year.

That hasn’t ended well in the past and it won’t end well now’’.