Exchequer expected to save €50m in public sector pay


THE COST:OFFICIAL SOURCES have estimated that the one-day strike will save the exchequer about €50 million in public sector pay.

Some €5 million will be saved in the Civil Service with the rest coming from the wider public service including teachers and workers in the health service.

Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan expressed his disappointment in the Dáil yesterday that “a uniquely protected group” should withdraw their labour as the country battled to regain economic stability. He also reiterated that in the light of falling prices it was “not unreasonable” for the Government to seek a reduction in public service salaries.

Speaking in the Dáil, which operated as normal despite the involvement of most of its staff in the strike, Mr Lenihan said during a special debate on the strike that he and the other members of the Government were disappointed at the action of the public service unions.

“I believe that this action is causing serious disruption and inconvenience to the customers of the public service, such as the users of our hospitals, people receiving social welfare benefits, school children and their parents, as well as wider economic loss across the State at this critical time in our country’s history,” he said.

The Minister added that the Government’s approach did not arise from any lack of respect or appreciation for the quality and commitment of public servants, but it had to deal with matters of budgetary necessity in the unprecedented difficulties which we currently face. “It is important to remind ourselves that public servants enjoy a job security and a guaranteed pension. In that regard, their experience during this recession is far more benign than that of many in the private sector.”