Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Ceisteanna (339)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

339. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the extent to which he has achieved or plans to achieve closure on the issue of FEMPI in 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27255/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

As the Deputy is aware under section 12 of the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act 2013 (No. 18 of 2013) obliges me to submit a written report of the operation, effectiveness and impact of the FEMPI Acts of 2009, No.2 of 2009, 2010 and 2013 to the Oireachtas and as part of that report, to consider whether or not any of the provisions of the relevant Acts continue to be necessary having regard to the purposes of those Acts, the revenues of the State and State commitments in respect of public service pay and pensions. My report was submitted in June this year and highlights:

- the economic circumstances of the State,

- the budgetary outlook,

- debt,

- returns from taxation,

- BREXIT and preparedness for other economic shocks.

It concluded, on the basis of the prevailing economic and fiscal outlook, that the timetable for pay and pensions restoration up to July 2022 continued to be appropriate and necessary.

The report references the Public Service Pay and Pension Act 2017. This Act provides for the restoration of reductions made to public service pay and pensions by the FEMPI Acts 2010-2013.

In that regard, on 1st October 2020, public servants will receive a 2% pay increase. This will complete pay restoration for public servants earning up to €70,000 per annum. Also on 1st October, reductions of between 5% and 8% made to certain allowances in 2010 will cease.

In addition to pay the Public Service Pay and Pensions Act 2017 provides that by end 2020, an order is made to restore,  at a date to be decided, reductions made to certain public service pensions.

Taking the above into account, very substantial progress will be made in completing the FEMPI restoration process by end 2020.

I would highlight that the elements set out above relate to the thousands of public servants who have been at the frontline in delivering key services in the current pandemic. These services are critical across health, education, justice, welfare and business support sectors to name but a few. They have ensured that this Government continues to deliver a comprehensive national response to the COVID 19 pandemic.