Sunday 4 December 2016

Bruton insists Government will run its full term before calling election

Published 03/06/2015 | 02:30

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton insisted the coalition will finish its five-year term before calling an election
Jobs Minister Richard Bruton insisted the coalition will finish its five-year term before calling an election

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton has kicked to touch suggestions of a post-budget Autumn election, insisting the Government will run its "full term."

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He insisted the coalition will finish its five-year term before calling an election.

"The Taoiseach has said time and again he believes we should go the full distance," he told the Irish Independent.

He also insisted the government is on track to achieve its job creation targets.

Meanwhile, the Minister dismissed IBEC's warning that the public sector pay deal will create unrealistic expectations in the private sector.

Businesses believe that pay hikes for public sector workers will have a negative impact, as one-in-four claim they are unable to offer their own employees similar increments.

Just 61pc of 400 businesses surveyed by IBEC said they will be in a position to offer employees pay increases of an average of 2pc this year.

Danny McCoy, CEO of the lobby group, said that "across the board pay awards" that were granted recently in the new Lansdowne Road Agreement, puts the public sector "at odds with the reality of the private sector".

But Mr Bruton insisted public servants had experienced "significant cuts" over a number of years, and that gradual reinstatement of pay was deserved.

"By and large there hasn't been the same level of cutting in average pay in the private sector," he added.

"The two sectors aren't comparable in that sense. This is an unwinding of emergency cuts, but it's being done on a scale that's affordable.

"This is a good deal that Brendan Howlin has negotiated.

"The truth is that we had, under emergency powers, taken pay from public servants. There was an obligation to see that unwind on a gradual basis."

Minister Bruton also stressed far-reaching "reform" was at the heart of the pay agreement, adding that the Government aim to create a "virtuous circle" which will increase productivity.

"Deputy Howlin has done that in a way that preserves reform in the public service, while putting productivity achievement at the core of the deal.

"That's what the future is. You need a virtuous circle of high productivity leading to pay increases; that's what delivers competitiveness and job creation for the whole community."

He also said for a long time the manufacturing industry was "written off" in Ireland - but the sector has experienced a "revival" in the last three years.

This was demonstrated with the announcement of 100 jobs to be created as part of a €15m investment in a new biscuit company in Drogheda, he added.

Irish Independent

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