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January 16th, 2013 @ 11:48

Croke Park II: Everything Must Be On the Table

Government Targets Need to Be More Ambitious

Chambers Ireland has today said that all available options must be on the table during this week’s Croke Park Agreement renegotiation if necessary savings and cost containments in the public sector are to be achieved.

Speaking this morning, Ian Talbot, Chambers Ireland Chief Executive, said “We need serious and urgent delivery from Croke Park II in order to contain costs and ensure that much needed savings are made. It is critical that the Government freeze increments for all staff, not just the less than 3,000 affected who earn over €70,000. Standard working hours, allowances and overtime must also all be considered in order to achieve necessary savings and get the public finances back on a sustainable footing.”

“While much has been made of the €1.5 billion in savings made from the deal in its current form, it is nothing compared to what we are borrowing to pay the State’s day to day bills. The planned borrowing target of €15 billion in 2013 works out at just over €3,200 for every man, woman and child in this country. This is not sustainable.”

“The private sector especially those serving the domestic economy has suffered over 500,000 job losses, accepted pay freezes and cuts and experienced numerous other hardships since 2008. The private sector cannot continue to fund the hole in national finances by ever increasing taxes and charges that hurt employment and weaken the domestic economy. Government is the single largest employer in this country. The public service pay and pensions bill accounts for 36pc of spending. Borrowing to fund the deficit must fall further. It is time for public sector unions to recognise reality and secure employment and pensions through the delivery of quantifiable and significant savings urgently that reflect the state of our economy,” he concluded. 

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