Chambers Call for Three Year Pause on Increments

Peninsula Team

June 28 2012

Chambers of Commerce IrelandChambers Ireland has today (28/06/12) called on the Government to deliver further additional savings under the Croke Park Agreement. Recommendations include a commitment to business process outsourcing of public services and a pause on pay increments for the next three years.

The call came at the launch of Chambers Ireland’s White Paper on the Croke Park Agreement.


Speaking this morning, Dónall Curtin, Chairman of the Board of Chambers Ireland said “This document identifies how Government can use the Croke Park Agreement to support the domestic economy rather than producing a fresh round of costs on business and taxpayers. We fear that the Government may be more focused on tax rises as it starts its budgetary calculations, however Chambers believe that the core strategy must be on spending cuts and cost containment measures which will help the economy rather than tax increases which will do more damage.” Seán Murphy, Chambers Ireland Deputy Chief Executive continued, “While we can see from the latest progress report on the Croke Park Agreement that it has achieved some significant savings and enhanced flexibility, the State is still borrowing over €1bn per month to fund itself. It follows that we need even more cost savings to be delivered urgently. We have identified a number of measures which can generate significant savings while also protecting public service jobs such as outsourcing, pension reforms, a pause on increments and more proactive management of sick leave—especially in the HSE.” “In the context of increments, 63% of the civil service are eligible for increments. Increments paid in 2011 cost the Exchequer €250m. Given that a company in examinership would be very unlikely to give pay increases, it is hard to justify the Government doing similarly in its present financially straitened circumstances,” Murphy concluded. The report makes a number of recommendations, including: Over €1 billion can be saved over ten years through outsourcing 30,000 public service jobs. This would allow public services to concentrate on their core services while benefitting from the expertise of specialist companies
  1. All pay increments to be paused for three years
  2. Move all public service pensions to Career Average Revalued Earnings (CARE) schemes thereby ensuring their future sustainability
  3. More proactive management of sick leave—this cost €284 million in the HSE in 2011 alone
  4. Management in the public service must be held to account for the decisions they make; however, they must also receive support in the work they do e.g. Improved sanctions for non-performance
  5. The public services must help indigenous businesses by ordering goods and services from local firms and consortia
  6. Apply the lessons learned from the experiences in New Zealand when, in the early 80’s, it found itself in a similar financial position as Ireland

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