Brendan Keenan: Deeper cuts are needed to reap full benefits of Croke Park deal
Published 16/06/2011 | 05:00
'LOW hanging fruit' they call it -- the idea that the first bit of any great task tends to be the easiest. It may well turn out to be the case with the Croke Park agreement.
Not that the first bit has been exactly easy. Cutting jobs never is. Yesterday's report on progress under the agreement finds that almost 16,000 jobs have gone and almost €600m has been saved. Despite this, the rest of the expected crop looks worryingly hard to reach.
It is worth remembering what this bitter harvest is supposed to yield, and why the grim reaping is necessary. The Croke Park agreement has tended to be treated as a standalone item; another bit of the hugely complex machinery for setting public sector pay.