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Government should look to high earners for pay cuts - Morgan

14 January, 2009


Responding to indications from Government that it will target low and middle income earning public servants with pay cuts and possibly job cuts Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Arthur Morgan TD has said it is a typical reaction of this Government to target those least able to pay rather than those on huge salaries and easily able to contribute more.

Speaking today Deputy Morgan said, "Brian Cowen and his Government's 'one trick pony' approach in responding to the economic crisis is reckless and irresponsible.

"While we are aware of the deepening crisis in our public finances, it is simplistic and irresponsible of the Government to put all of the blame at the feet of our state employees.

"It is the Government who helped to create the property market bubble - not public sector employees.

"Despite reports of a bloated public sector, the reality is that Ireland's public sector workforce is smaller than most OECD Countries.

"The Government's sole focus on the public service is damaging our chances of economic recovery. We are still waiting on a properly costed stimulus package and job creation strategy. Ireland is one of the last countries in the EU to do this.

"All the indications so far suggest the Government will target low and middle public servants rather than high earning public sector workers. It is hypocritical of the government to ask low and middle income public employees to tighten their belts when hospital consultants enjoy a salary of €250,000 for a 33 hour a week. Irish hospital consultants with their 'job for life contract' and unprecedented autonomy are earning more than any other medical consultants in the world.

"The Government should look at these types of public employees rather than scapegoating the lower paid public servants. It is a typical reaction of this Government to target those least able to pay rather than those on huge salaries and easily able to contribute more." ENDS

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