Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Questions (266, 272)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

266. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his views on correspondence (details supplied) regarding the revised Croke Park agreement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12607/13]

View answer

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

272. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform in view of the fact that full premium payments have been restored to permanent fire fighters and prison officers, the reason nurses, gardaí and paramedics are going to have their premiums cut; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13035/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Public)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 266 and 272 together.

Discussions have taken place between public service employers and the Public Services Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions regarding the Government’s stated intention to reach agreement on securing the required overall savings from the public service pay and pensions bill by 2015. Following intensive engagement between the parties, which was facilitated by the Labour Relations Commission (LRC), the LRC has developed and recommended a set of proposals for consideration and agreement. These proposals represent a balanced and integrated set of proposals and I have no plans to amend the proposals made. All public servants, including frontline workers, will be able to consider the full set of proposals by the LRC which have been published and the public service staff representatives who remained in negotiations have indicated that these proposals will be subject to ballot by members.

Both the Government and I are acutely aware of the very significant contributions made to date by all public servants by way of pay reductions, imposition of the pension related deduction, non payment of pay increases and the significant productivity arising over recent years facilitated by the Public Service Agreement. Regrettably, the scale of the fiscal crisis inherited by the current Government and the absolute requirement to address and reduce the current deficit of 8% to less than 3% in 2015, requires a further contribution of €1bn from the public service pay and pensions bill which accounts for some 35% of current expenditure. The LRC proposals represent a fair and balanced set of proposals across all public service sectors to secure the savings required by the Exchequer while ameliorating the impacts for public service staff on low and middle incomes to the greatest extent possible. In this regard, I am satisfied that the proposals have protected the core pay of 87% of the workers in the public service.