Thursday, 20 June 2019

Questions (90)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

90. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the extent to which he remains satisfied regarding the degree to which controls exercised by his Department continue to contribute in a meaningful way to national guidelines in respect of pay and conditions throughout the public sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26018/19]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

Important measures are in place to ensure that our expenditure and budgetary targets are being achieved on an ongoing basis. Managing the delivery of public services within budgetary allocations is a key responsibility of each Government Minister and Department. The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform is in regular contact with all other Departments and Offices to ensure that expenditure is being managed within the overall fiscal parameters.

There is regular reporting to Government on expenditure levels and expenditure profiles are published for each month. The drawdown of funds from the Exchequer is monitored throughout the year and reported on against profile on a monthly basis in the Exchequer Statement.

Public service pay expenditure is a function of two key drivers:

1. the numbers of public servants employed, and

2. the rate at which they are paid.

As of 2019 there are over 330,000 full time equivalent public servants with an exchequer pay bill of €18.7 billion, or approximately 1/3 of current expenditure. In this context, the objective of public service pay policy is to manage pay expenditure at a sustainable level, which allows for the recruitment and retention of appropriately skilled staff.

As the Deputy is aware, pay and conditions of public servants are managed through collective agreements, of which the current agreement is The Public Service Stability Agreement 2018 -2020. This Agreement, the terms of which have been implemented through the provisions of the Public Service Pay and Pensions Act, 2017, provides for the dismantling of the financial emergency legislation through fair and sustainable increases in public service pay.