6,600 public servants to retire early


A total of 6,600 public servants are planning to take early retirement, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has told the Dáil today.

He said that considering the age profile of public servants, it was assumed that up to 9,000 whole-time equivalent workers would retire by the end of this month.

Transitional teams, headed by assistant secretaries in each department, down to local planners, would have a clear understanding of how they proposed to continue to provide services.

“On top of that, there should be very active communication with the people about what is happening here,’’ he added.

He said he had a meeting of the Cabinet sub-committee on health last week and another one would be held tonight.

A memo would be presented to Cabinet on the issue next Tuesday by Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin.

Mr Kenny said the situation about the numbers leaving at the end of this month had not crystallised until the last few days.

So while there had been quite a deal of intensive work within departments, the figures did not become clear until recently.

Fianna Fáil leader Mícheál Martin said Minister for Health Dr James Reilly had admitted that public patients would have surgery cancelled because of declining numbers.

“These things would not be happening if there had been a planned approach to this particular issue,’’ he added.

“Why are we getting a constant drip feeding of issues arising out of the difficulties and challenges that are arising from this exodus from the public service ?’’

Mr Martin said the public and workers were awaiting certainty and guidance from the Government on the issue.