Cuts to pay or services


Sir, – Stephen Collins’s article on the stark choice between cuts to pay or services is a classic example of conflating fact with opinion (Opinion, June 9th).

Collins argues that one of the biggest reasons for the rise in support for Sinn Féin is its condemnation of overpaid public salaries. On what survey evidence is this based? He then argues that our partners in Europe are reluctant to ease the terms of our financial loan because of the over-inflated pensions of some Irish civil servants. On what evidence is this based? These peculiar arguments are then used to justify a renegotiation of the Croke Park agreement.

But it is obvious to anyone who interacts with European officials that they see the latter as a crucial part of Irish fiscal stability. The possibility of renegotiating the troika loan would decrease if the Government tore up the Croke Park agreement, primarily because of the industrial strife and uncertainty it would unleash.

Ireland has a fiscal crisis because of a collapse in tax revenue. Between 2008 and 2009 Irish revenues collapsed by €18 billion. It is the refusal to countenance a change in Ireland’s business-friendly tax regime that makes a renegotiation of the debt more difficult with our partners in the EU, not public sector pay. – Yours, etc,


Researcher at Amsterdam

Institute for Advanced Labour

Studies (AIAS),

University of Amsterdam,

The Netherlands.