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Excessive pay at top of public sector should be included in Croke Park discussions – McDonald

28 November, 2012 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin Public Expenditure and Reform Spokesperson Mary Lou McDonald TD has described the omission of excessive pay and pensions at the top of the public sector from today’s Croke Park discussions between union leaders and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform as nothing short of scandalous.

Deputy McDonald said:

“Rank and file public sector workers have taken a significant hit in their pay over the last three years. New entrants have fared even worse as their pay has been reduced by a further 10% and their allowances have been withdrawn.

“Yet those at the very top of the public sector continue to be cosseted by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform when it comes to their pay and pensions. When questioned by me last week during a Dáil Committee meeting the Minister ruled out tackling excessive pay at the top of the public sector in the any new Croke Park deal.

“Time and time again we have said that reducing pay at the top of the public sector is not the panacea to tackling the State’s on-going fiscal crisis but such a move would indicate a commitment to fairness by this government. It would also go some small way to protecting struggling families and their children.

“Introducing an emergency pay cap of €150,000 for hospital consultants and €100,000 for VEC Chiefs, City & County Managers, non-commercial State agency bosses, top civil and public sector employees would pay for:

• Free school books for every child in the State – Cost €45m
• Increasing the earning disregard by €16.50 to €146.50 per week for One Parent Families – Cost €32m
• Double to €70m the budget for school meals and expand the programme – Cost €35m
• Increase the fuel season allowance by six weeks – Cost €51m
• Reinstate 950,000 home help hours – Cost €16.9m
• Restore the Training and materials allowance for CE participants – Cost €12.5m

“Politics is all about making choices and it’s high time Minister Howlin and his cabinet colleagues started making the right choices. It now falls to the unions to ensure that Minister Howlin tackles high pay at the top of the civil and public sector in any new Croke Park deal.”


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