Gilmore vows Labour will reform public service
Published 18/04/2010 | 05:00
Eamon Gilmore last night promised that a Labour-led government would establish a department for public service reform "to get on with the job, rather than just talk about it".
At his party's annual conference in Galway, Mr Gilmore also said that within weeks of taking office, Labour would introduce constitutional reforms which would make the Oireachtas "belong more to the 21st century than the 19th".
In his leader's address, Mr Gilmore did not state whether Labour would reverse recent cuts to public sector pay, but he did commit his party to public sector reform.
"Ireland as a country needs radical reform. Reform in our public services, so that they work better for the people they are meant to serve. Reform is not just about cutting costs and it certainly is not about destroying the very service you want to reform.
"Labour believes in good public services. Labour respects public servants.
"We want public service reform, so that the services remain and are improved and that the public service is a good place in which to work," he said.
Labour's approach to reform, he said, was not confined to the public service.
"Remember it was not the teachers or the gardai or the council workers who caused the banking crisis and the failures in corporate Ireland.
"We need reform too in the way Irish business works and Labour will therefore legislate to put an end to the culture of crony capitalism, clearing out the boards of the banks, regulating lobbyists, protecting whistleblowers, breaking the link between big money and politics."
It was also time, he said, for a fundamental review of the Constitution. "Our Constitution belongs to the people, not just to political institutions. So, this must be a people's process. I propose a constitutional convention -- a coming together of . . . Irish society to redraw our Constitution."