CONSULTANTS earning salaries of more than €100,000 will not face pay cuts in the new Croke Park deal because it would "destroy" the public health service.
Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin ruled out the move as he discussed his plans to get an extra €1bn in savings from the public pay bill over the next three years.
He said cutting the pay of consultants would make it harder to retain medics of the "highest calibre" in the public health system. He said it would lead to the departure of consultants from the public sector.,
Mr Howlin told the Oireachtas Finance Committee that consultants were the biggest single group of public servants earning over €100,000.