Savings from Croke Park deal ‘major part of fiscal plan’

THE minister charged with overseeing public sector reform has said the process of costing the savings from the Croke Park deal will begin next week.

Dara Calleary, Public Service Transformation Minister, said he could not put a figure on how much the Government hoped to achieve through the pay and reform deal struck with unions last March.

But he said the last of the implementation plans being formulated by the various state departments were expected to be submitted next week and costing would then begin immediately.

Mr Calleary told the Reuters news agency that the savings accrued through the Croke Park deal would form a major part of the Government’s four-year fiscal plan.

“The work changes and the flexibilities agreed to will allow us to potentially have a lot of savings. The transformation of the public services is going to be critical in the way that we put this four-year plan together,” he said.

Mr Calleary also reiterated a commitment given earlier this week by his senior party colleague, Finance Minister Brian Lenihan, that the Government would not be cutting the pay of public service workers in the upcoming budget.

“As of now we’re adhering to the agreement and will implement it as fully as we can,” he said. “We signed the Croke Park agreement in very good faith and intend on implementing all of its provisions.”

The Croke Park deal envisages a range of savings through voluntary redundancies, changes in work practices and the amalgamation of a number of services.

It has been estimated that up to 6,000 jobs could go from the health service alone through a voluntary redundancy scheme under the terms of the deal.


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