Progressive Conservative Leader Kathy Dunderdale says a Liberal plan to boost pensions for some retired public sector works is financially irresponsible.

"It's the same foolhardy policies that we saw before here in the province and are being resurrected again," Dunderdale said Monday night, responding to Liberal Leader Kevin Aylward's plans to hike payments to pensioners.

Aylward, who spoke Monday to a group of protesting pensioners, said a Liberal government would hike payments to existing pensions — who have tried in vain for years to negotiate an increase — by 2.5 per cent on a one-time basis.

Thereafter, the Liberals would increase payments in line with the Consumer Price Index, up to two per cent.

"This is for the specific group that has been left out over the years, almost 15 years or more," Aylward said Monday night, defending his plan.

Although the promise does not apply to future pensioners, Aylward says there will not be a two-tier pension structure. Aylward said a task force would determine what to do about future pensioners.

Dunderdale said that giving one specific group a raise is a bad idea.

Aylward said increasing payments to a long-neglected group will cost more than $13 million in the first year, and about $10 million extra for each additional year.