Kenny convenes crucial public pay meeting


TAOISEACH ENDA Kenny will tomorrow preside over a crucial meeting aimed at securing further savings in the public sector pay bill during the lifetime of the Croke Park agreement.

Mr Kenny will chair a meeting in his department at which Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin will present an assessment of potential savings across all 15 Government departments.

The specially convened meeting of the Croke Park implementation body will present the public service unions and the managements with a series of potential savings.

No decisions are expected to be announced tomorrow as unions and management will be given time to assess the proposals.

When the Cabinet returned after the summer break last month the Taoiseach instructed all Ministers to go back to their departments to find ways in which they could make further savings under the terms of the Croke Park deal.

Mr Kenny told the Dáil that he had instructed Ministers to provide “their best assessment of the maximum that can be squeezed from the Croke Park agreement, which we would like to see implemented in full in an accelerated fashion”.

Mr Kenny said that the Government would have to meet its budgetary targets in a way that minimised cuts to front-line public services.

“This means we must achieve the maximum possible savings which do not impact on services as a consequence,” he added.

The savings identified in the assessment made by Mr Howlin are not limited to the current year and also span 2013.

“The Croke Park process has to be renewed all the time and the Taoiseach has taken a lead in that,” said a Government spokesman last night.