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Minister Howlin has still not embraced the Reform Agenda

15 June, 2011 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD


Responding to the publication of the first progress report of the Croke Park Agreement Sinn Féin Public Expenditure and Reform Spokesperson Mary Lou McDonald TD criticised Minister Howlin for pursuing the same cut and run policy as Fianna Fáil and the Green’s.

Deputy McDonald said:

“The real measure of successful reform within the public sector will be the experience of citizens seeking and accessing services.

“The moratorium on recruitment in the public sector is having a devastating effect on the delivery front line services.

“Approximately 1,600 public hospital beds are still closed; the HSE intends to privatise Home Help services and to reduce home help hours. Children continue to wait up to 18 months for simple but critically important hospital procedures such as an endoscopy.

“Teaching supports for children in the travelling community are to be stopped and children who have been independently accessed as having a disability will suffer a 10% cut to their teaching supports. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

“Sinn Féin is committed to efficient, effective and economic delivery of public services but this is not what Fine Gael and the Labour party are delivering.

“Minister Howlin continues to simply give a passing reference to the modernisation agenda contained within the Croke Park Agreement and his own departmental brief.

“Real reform and significant long term cost savings will come from full integration of services, new and improved technologies, standardisation of systems and services and significant cuts to senior management pay across the public service and semi-states – much more significant than the Government is currently proposing.

“If Minister Howlin continues to focus on job losses instead of embracing the real reform agenda all he will deliver during his tenure is a third world public service and this legacy will have a devastating effect on the State’s economic and social future.” ENDS

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