Cabinet set to clear €180m public pay increases today

Cabinet will today sign off on public sector pay increases due to come into force from next month.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at a Cabinet meeting this year.

Pay restoration, which will be introduced from January 1, are part of a €180m public sector deal hammered out between government and unions earlier this year. The legislation needed to begin to unwind austerity measures is expected to pass through the Seanad later this week.

Separately, Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone will bring the report of the expert technical group on the Tuam site to the Cabinet today and will then publish the group’s findings which looked into the former mother and baby home.

The Taoiseach will also brief his colleagues on Brexit talks ahead of travelling to Brussels for an EU summit meeting later this week.

Tánaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney has ordered a comprehensive review of Ireland’s relations with Germany in the context of Brexit.

Mr Coveney said Brexit had brought into sharp focus the necessity to ensure that our bilateral and EU relationships are reviewed on an ongoing basis so that they can continue to advance our interests and our goals.

“Our relations with Germany are vital to us and all the more so in the context of Brexit,” he said. “Now, therefore, is a good time to take a close look at our work in Germany to build our relationship for a new era and to ensure that we are in a position to vigorously advance our interests and our goals.”

Meanwhile Agriculture Minister Michael Creed will not attend cabinet today as he takes part in EU fisheries negotiations in Brussels, where he will be “arguing forcefully” against the level of cuts to quotas proposed. Mr Creed expressed concern over proposed cuts around 62% to Irish fish quotas.

He said that while he accepted some cuts were needed to protect the long-term sustainability of stocks, some of the cuts proposed were avoidable taking account of the scientific advice.

He said: “We are facing severe cuts to a number of important fish stocks of importance to Ireland such as herring, hake, haddock, whiting and monkfish amongst others. I am concerned that, for some stocks, at least, we can take a more modulated approach.”

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