€1.6bn public sector pay deal demands to wipe out tax cuts
Claim for 10,000 workers branded 'wildly optimistic'
Unions will seek pay rises worth in the region of €1.6bn at the upcoming talks on a new public sector pay deal.
The scale of the figure put forward by general secretary of the PSEU Tom Geraghty will alarm the Government as it battles to keep a lid on soaring pay demands.
But any pay hikes of this magnitude would wipe out any room for the Government to cut taxes for middle-income earners.
Government sources last night branded the figure wildly optimistic and stressed all sides have to be conscious of the uncertainty that lies ahead.
The amount is double the pay rises being given under the Lansdowne Road Agreement.
But Mr Geraghty, who represents 10,000 mid-ranking civil servants, insisted the figure was "very realistic" and "has to be done". He said unions are "absolutely unanimous" that no deal can reduce their retirement benefits.
Meanwhile, the Government is facing a fresh threat of industrial action by teachers as the TUI backed a ballot for industrial action this autumn if "discriminatory rates" for newer teachers aren't changed.