James Fitzsimons: Nothing wrong with a big pension, if you've paid for it
Phase two of the public sector reform plan is under way but James Fitzsimons doubts we can pull it all together
The Government is starting phase two of its public sector reform which will take it to the general election in 2016. Back in 2011, when Brendan Howlin, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, first outlined his plans, he knew the existing system was rotten, but kept it anyway.
The changes would only apply to new recruits. Now that the dust has settled, he is pushing forward, but promising nothing. If the public sector was a car, it wouldn't pass the NCT. He can put a new body on the clapped out banger, but the engine is shot and the car needs to be changed. It's a pity the minister can't see this.
Now look at what's happening in Irish Water. Phil Hogan, the Minister for the Environment, claims he is saving over €80m by using Bord Gais to collect water charges.