There is no economic justification for public sector pay increases

As a member of the forced diaspora, it depressed me to read that Minister for Enterprise Richard Bruton said that pay for the public sector would be restored.

The entire public sector is paid for by the taxes produced from the private sector, be it large multinationals, family-owned and one-person businesses, or the agricultural sector.

If the Government does have more money, shouldn’t it be building up the resources that were taken from those who help the most vulnerable in society.

Any extra money should go towards increasing the grants to the many small charities and local organisations that worked and battled so hard to help communities survive the onslaught of austerity, when funds were diverted to protect the bankers and to top up public sector pensions.

Is Minister Bruton’s ambition for the Government so low that he can’t even rally it and reduce its contribution to the cost of living (its myriad charges, levies and fees are added to the price of goods and services we all use daily).

At the first sign of a possible recovery and more funds, the default reaction is to claim that money to pump up the public service again.

I know staff in the public sector had limits on their pay increases and that younger staff took the actual pain of reduced salaries, as well as pension levies; but let’s not forget the public sector fought tooth and nail to keep their automatic increments, they have jobs for life, and there is still zero accountability for poor performance and little transparency in decision-making.

So, despite falling into the abyss and losing our economic sovereignty, in no small part because of the failures of the public sector, the sacrifices of the Irish people and the meek acceptance of austerity (after a guilt trip by the well-fed and well-padded political establishment of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, and their EU friends), it seems from Minister Bruton’s comments that he and his type have learnt nothing. Ireland rolls on regardless, to face the next catastrophe.

In the long list of priorities for how any extra money the private sector generates is spent, public sector pay is a luxury we cannot afford.

There is no moral or economic or management justification for any such pay rise, be they for frontline staff or the fat cats.

Desmond Fitzgerald

Canary Wharf



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