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Irish Public Service Pay Bill Cut by €1.5 Billion in Two Years
Source: peoplemanagement.co.uk
Source Date: Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Focus: Institution and HR Management
Country: Ireland
Created: Nov 18, 2010

Ireland’s public service pay and pensions bill more than doubled from €8.6 billion in 2000 to €18.8 billion in 2008, but has dropped back in the last two years, new research has shown.

The report ‘Public Sector Trends 2010’ by the Institute of Public Administration found that the total bill now stands at €17.3 billion this year, as a result of pay cuts and a reduction in headcount.

The most rapid decline in pay and numbers in the last two years has happened in the security sector, with cuts in the Gardai and army outpacing those in the general civil service.

But the report’s author, Richard Boyle of the IPA, says that any attempt to curb the pay bill further to reduce the country’s deficit will have to concentrate on health and education, which between them account for 75 per cent of the paybill.
Numbers employed also rose rapidly from 295,000 in 2000 to 347,000 today, but have fallen by around 3 per cent since 2008 as the recession began to bite.

While there have been ongoing plans by the government to cut back on the hundreds of government funded agencies (quangos) created in the last ten years, the report points out that they constitute just 4 per cent of total public sector employment and 4 per cent of the paybill.

“Even with rationalisation the impact of cutbacks will be minimal when put in the context of the public sector as a whole” says the report.

Boyle also notes that while the quality of Irish public administration has always been slightly above European average, trust in government has fallen rapidly since 2008 and this is starting to affect trust in the public service.
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