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Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform agrees to publish Department Chiefs slash and burn memo

14 July, 2011 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin Public Expenditure and Reform Spokesperson Mary Lou McDonald TD has welcomed Minister Howlin’s commitment to publish on his website a recently leaked memo penned by his Department Secretary General and circulated to Civil Services Chiefs instructing them to consider cost saving measures beyond the Croke Park Agreement.

Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Brendan Howlin made the commitment following a call made by Deputy McDonald in the Dáil this evening.

Deputy McDonald said:

“The Secretary General of the Department of Expenditure and Reform recently circulated a memo to heads of Departments instructing them to delve deep when compiling cost cutting measures for the comprehensive spending review.

“The memo, leaked to the media but as yet unpublished, called on Department chiefs to consider human resource changes and structural reforms that would go beyond the Croke Park agreement.

“Departments were told to identify services that could be outsourced or transferred to the private sector, look for rationalisation measures for grant and subsidy schemes and options to introduce ‘reasonable co-payment options to offset in part the costs associated with delivery of public services’.

“These kinds of measures will literally put the heart across struggling families and the vulnerable who are facing yet more interest rates hikes on their mortgages, cuts to fuel allowances and household benefits and the latest rise of nearly 3% in consumer prices.

“Minister Howlin’s commitment to publish his Department Chiefs memo is to be welcomed but its contents will bring cold comfort to the hundreds of thousands of elderly and struggling families who will face another round of harsh austerity in December budget courtesy of the new government.” ENDS

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