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Ireland: Public Spending Rise Higher than EU Average
Source: rte.ie
Source Date: Monday, November 08, 2010
Focus: Health
Country: Ireland
Created: Nov 11, 2010

Public spending per person in Ireland is growing faster than the EU average, according to a new study of the Irish public service.

Public spending per person in Ireland is growing faster than the EU average, according to a new study of the Irish public service.

However, the Institute of Public Administration report entitled 'The State of the Public Service' also highlights concerns about the lack of hard data on productivity and performance.

The report finds that while numbers employed in the public sector rose significantly between 2000 and 2008, those numbers have remained relatively constant at between 16% and 19% of the total workforce.

It states that that proportion is not excessive by European standards.

The health and education sectors account for just under 70% of public service employment (excluding the commercial state bodies) and around 75% of the Exchequer pay bill.

In terms of efficiency, on average government departments fully met about two thirds of their output targets in 2009 - though they themselves determined those targets.

The report states that there are ongoing concerns about the quality of output targets and the absence of hard data on productivity and performance.

The IPA research also highlights a dramatic fall in confidence and trust in the Government and Oireachtas over the last two years.

Earlier this year, Ireland expressed the second lowest level of trust in its parliament of any of the EU 15 (with Spain in lowest position).

It also points to a worrying decline in the perception that public servants are upholding 'traditional' public service values such as administrative fairness and independence from political interference.
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