Public services will not be affected by pay commitments, says Minister

Donohoe says additional payment to public servants will be met from available public resources

Paschal Donohoe: he said given the additional cost represented 0.2% of total gross voted current expenditure, most departments should be in a position to absorb the additional costs

Paschal Donohoe: he said given the additional cost represented 0.2% of total gross voted current expenditure, most departments should be in a position to absorb the additional costs

 

Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe has insisted public services will not be affected by funding of public servant and Garda pay.

He told the Dáil that funding for an additional payment to public servants with annualised salaries of up to €65,000 would be met from available public resources. It would take into account the scope for the reallocation of expenditure while ensuring core public services were not adversely affected.

He said the Government had agreed to fund half of the estimated €50 million cost of the Labour Relations Commission’s decision to increase Garda pay. The balance would be met from savings from within the Department of Justice.

He said the additional €25 million in funding from the exchequer was provided in the revised estimates published before Christmas.

“The extent to which departments are in a position to meet the additional cost of the broader recommendations with unions will only be determined later in the year,’’ said Mr Donohoe.

“The Government will monitor the position closely, and consider how best to meet any additional funding requirements where the need arises.’’

Additional cost

He said the exchequer returns at the end of last December had revealed savings of €168 million were achieved last year, which was less than the sum of money in consideration this year.

The Minister was replying to Fianna Fáil spokesman Dara Calleary, who said the Fiscal Advisory Council had noted the fiscal space under the rules for this year had already been allocated in the budget.

The council had said, as a consequence, any new increases in expenditure, such as funding higher public sector pay, implied lower spending in other areas unless offset by compensatory tax changes.