Croke Park deal 'unsustainable'

 

The Croke Park agreement on public service pay and reform is unsustainable and needs to be renegotiated, the chairman of the Dáil Public Accounts Committee has said.

Speaking after a speech in Dublin this morning, Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness said the pay and pensions of staff in the public service were being protected under the deal.

He said that only 58 per cent of the workforce in the country had a pension while 42 per cent had not.

“But those 42 per cent who cannot afford a pension for themselves are contributing to the pension of the public sector. It is creating a two-tier workforce, it is creating a two–tier pension scheme and it has to be renegotiated.”

Mr McGuinness said that in the context of around 37,500 more staff leaving the public service under the Government’s new reform measures announced yesterday, it was clear that there were going to be “serious difficulties” in front line areas.

"And we are not focusing on where we need to focus, which is at management level , get the best practices in there and strengthen our front line services."

Earlier, in an address to a Public Affairs Ireland conference, he said that off the top of his head he could probably identify five or six public service agencies that would be run in a better and cheaper manner by private companies as well as other bodies that should be amalgamated or shut down.

“The only reason why that has not been done up to now is that governments were prepared to waste money rather than talk sense to trade unions, culminating in that great monument to sacred cows, the Croke Park agreement.”

“That monument is now being eyed by technocrats who have no respect for cloud cuckoo land and have a great desire to pull down any monument built to false gods. The Croke Park agreement certainly falls into that category.”