Social partners must feel the pinch, warns IBEC chief

The outgoing president of influential lobby group IBEC today urged the social partners to be prepared to take some pain as they attempt to strike a new deal.

After Congress warned it was not willing to accept a pay freeze, Maurice Healy signalled the two bodies are on course for a clash as negotiations intensify.

“All of us should be prepared to take some pain in making sure our small open economy is enabled to protect the gains we have made over the past several years,” Mr Healy said.

Earlier Congress issued a 10 point plan designed to rescue the stumbling economy including a radical move to cut VAT, freezing public transport fares and more powers for consumer bodies.

Congress chief David Begg said: “Wages in Ireland are not driving up inflation - that is being done externally by higher commodity prices and interest rates.

“As such, opportunistic calls for a wage free are a non-starter.”

Mr Healy, who is to be replaced today as president of IBEC by chief executive of oil giant Maxol Tom Noonan, outlined areas of reform.

“The interests of every man, woman and child living in Ireland depend on us competing successfully on the world stage,” he said.

“It is a matter of keeping our eye on the ball. We need a sensible and moderate pay agreement; we need to embrace change much more speedily in the workplace; we need public spending to be tightly controlled.”

More in this Section

Toyota and Honda in major recall over faulty air bagsToyota and Honda in major recall over faulty air bags

Dunnes Stores was premature in challenging Point Village square disputeDunnes Stores was premature in challenging Point Village square dispute

Donald Trump to warn UK against ‘discriminatory’ tax on tech giantsDonald Trump to warn UK against ‘discriminatory’ tax on tech giants

Study: Dublin Airport contributes €10bn to Irish economyStudy: Dublin Airport contributes €10bn to Irish economy


Dr Sarah Miller is the CEO of Dublin’s Rediscovery Centre, the national centre for the Circular Economy in Ireland. She has a degree in Biotechnology and a PHD in Environmental Science in Waste Conversion Technologies.‘We have to give people positive messages’

When I was pregnant with Joan, I knew she was a girl. We didn’t find out the gender of the baby, but I just knew. Or else, I so badly wanted a girl, I convinced myself that is exactly what we were having.Mum's the Word: I have a confession: I never wanted sons. I wanted daughters

What is it about the teenage years that are so problematic for families? Why does the teenage soul rage against the machine of the adult world?Learning Points: It’s not about the phone, it’s about you and your teen

Judy Collins is 80, and still touring. As she gets ready to return to Ireland, she tells Ellie O’Byrne about the songs that have mattered most in her incredible 60-year career.The songs that matter most to Judy Collins from her 60-year career

More From The Irish Examiner