Fairness and reform at the heart of public sector strategy

Fine Gael TD for Dublin North and Chairperson of internal committee for Public Expenditure and Reform Alan Farrell has commented on Monday’s announcement in terms of public sector reform.

“The public sector cost to the exchequer will be down by €400 million this year, and there will be a reduction of 6,000 staff. Savings will have to be made in overtime and allowances, which will require departments to make in house changes to tackle waste and inefficiencies in each department.

“We have faced an enormous challenge with regard to Public Sector Reform, to strike a balance between reform, fairness and maintaining crucial services. We only need to look at our neighbours across the water and north of the border over the last few days to see the chaos that public service cuts can have on the country’s services. It is for this reason that successful delivery of the Croke Park Agreement is critical.

“It must be acknowledged that public servants have already seen a significant reduction in pay, for example since 2008 a staff nurse has incurred a 10% loss, teachers are down by 12% and Gardaí by 11%, on top of taxation charges that we all must endure.

“It is easy to throw accusations about protecting high paid civil servants, some of whom have received cuts up to 23%, however any further hits to the public sector workers will be detrimental to the lower and middle income earners within this sector.

“No government want to introduce cuts, however the reality left with us by the previous government give us no choice after handing our economic sovereignty to the Troika. Our job now is to show leadership and take decisive action based on fairness, reform and job creation.

“In these difficult circumstances, this government has acted decisively and has taken the first steps in reform and reducing the cost of our public sector”