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Government’s approach to public services contradictory – McDonald

31 January, 2012 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin Public Expenditure and Reform Spokesperson Mary Lou McDonald TD has criticised the government for its failure to prepare for next month’s exodus from the public sector.

Speaking on the closing date for early retirement applications the Sinn Féin Deputy Leader described the government’s approach to properly manning the public service as contradictory.

Deputy McDonald said:

“On the one hand we have the government actively encouraging the loss of at least 7,700 mostly front line positions from the public sector and then on the other the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform states he is intends to recruit up to 3,000 new workers.

“Last week the HSE Chief confirmed to members of the Public Accounts Committee that whilst he intends to take on 400 mental health staff, at least 500 mental health workers will leave the health service at the end of next month. This is just one example of the contradictory approach of Fine Gael and Labour when it comes to properly resourcing front line services.

“Experienced senior nurses, head mistresses and gardaí will leave the service at the end of this month yet the government has no plan in place to deal with the inevitable shortages in services that will result from next month’s exodus.

“Health, education, social protection and local authorities are already struggling from the long standing recruitment embargo and this mad cap incentive to drain the sector of experience and staff in one swift blow will only deepen what is fast becoming a crisis.” ENDS

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