Fine Gael and the Public Service

Friday, February 4, 2011

The public service is one of Fine Gael’s 5 steps to recovery.  The public sector will have a key role to play in rebuilding Ireland.    Public  servants  do  an absolutely vital job and many public servants feel they are being unfairly targeted as a result of a crisis they did not create.
·     The IMF deal for lending to the Irish State contains commitments to reduce the cost of running the Government. There are only two ways to reduce the cost and that is either by reducing numbers or pay.

·     Reducing the cost of Government is necessary to stop increases in income tax which is how other parties will have to fund the existing public service level.

·    Fine Gael does not want to reduce core pay. We fully supported the Croke Park deal to protect the public sector from more pay cuts in exchange for the types of reform we have outlined in our ‘Reinventing Government’ document.

·    The overall size of government needs to fall.  Ireland’s fiscal crisis caused by reckless Fianna Fail policies means there is simply no other choice.  To be clear:
o       We will protect frontline workers. This means teachers, nurses, Gardai, etc
o       We estimate 30,000 administrative positions can be reduced by natural wastage, voluntary redundancy and relocation. No forced redundancies.

·    It is worth remembering that in Budget 2010, Fine Gael put forward a plan to protect the first €30,000 of every public servant’s pay but was ignored by Government who introduced broad cuts on everyone that saw the lower paid taking a heavier burden.

Last year the government spent €19bn more than it earned.  We must reduce this deficit to €7bn by 2015.  International experience shows that cuts in spending are more effective at fixing deficits and are better for growth and jobs than tax increases.  

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