Dáil Éireann - Volume 666 - 06 November, 2008
Written Answers. - Public Service Pay.
Deputy Tom Hayes Deputy Tom Hayes
Deputy Tom Hayes asked the Minister for Finance his plans to contain the growth in the public service pay bill; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38773/08]
Deputy Brian Lenihan Deputy Brian Lenihan
Deputy Brian Lenihan: I am keeping the public service paybill under continuous review and I have already taken steps to contain its growth.
The draft pay agreement “Review and Transitional Agreement 2008-2009” provides for a pay pause of 11 months in the public service. The private sector pay pause provided for is to last for three months. Furthermore, public service employers are required to achieve a 3% cut in payroll costs in 2009 and no specific additional provision has been made for the cost in 2009 of the increase provided for in the new draft pay agreement. The cost of this increase must be met from within the approved allocations.
Payroll costs are a function of staff numbers. As I stated in the budget speech, we must do more with less in regard to public service pay and numbers. Where there are clear staff sur pluses in certain areas, or where policy priorities change, staff numbers must be correspondingly reduced or re-assigned.
The Government has already decided that a targeted voluntary early retirement scheme will be introduced for the HSE. Discussions are underway on the development of such a scheme.
I believe it is essential to extend such schemes, in a targeted manner, to other areas of the public service where surplus staff are identified. In this context, the Government has decided to conduct a focused review of public sector numbers in all branches of Government to assess whether the resources are being fully deployed in an efficient and effective manner and what economies can be made.
This decision will be implemented when the report of the Task Force on the Public Service is received later this month.
Public service pay levels can only increase at a rate that is consistent with budgetary discipline and national competitiveness. I am satisfied that the measures put in place support this stance. As I have mentioned, we are keeping public service pay, along with other major expenditure categories, under ongoing review. Should further corrective action be necessary, this will be taken.
Dáil Éireann 666 Written Answers. Public Service Pay.