Public service trade unions are currently considering the various proposals put forward under the Haddington Road Agreement and those unions and associations that need to ballot their members are in the process of doing so ahead of the implementation date of 1 July. The composition of the savings arising and subsequent reductions in expenditure can only be finalised when the results of the various ballots are known.
The measures set out in the Agreement will enable the Government to achieve the targeted savings of approximately €300 million in the public service pay and pensions bill in 2013, including savings on Local Government. Furthermore, it is estimated that the measures set out in the Haddington Road Agreement will reduce the public service pay and pensions bill by €1 billion by the end of the Agreement.
The Revised Estimates Volume was published on 17 April this year on the basis of the previous Labour Relations Commission (LRC) recommendations, prior to the recent re-engagement between the Department of Public Expenditure & Reform and the Trade Unions. These recommendations were, at the time, the most appropriate means of achieving the savings required and it was important that the relevant Oireachtas Committees could begin the process of examining the Vote allocations for 2013.
While the recommendations set out in Haddington Road Agreement have changed since the previous LRC recommendations, the pay allocations for individual Votes based on the implementation of these recommendations remain largely the same.
With regard to the economic impacts of the pay and pension savings, there are no easy options for Government in ensuring that Ireland’s deficit targets are met. However, by adhering to the medium-term fiscal plan and continuing to meet our fiscal targets we can generate positive confidence effects. These in turn can have a favourable impact on economic performance.