Friday 21 July 2017

Falling public pay dominoes may knock down the Coalition

Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
John Downing

John Downing

It is now clear that Budget 2017 was the easy part. The key challenge for Enda Kenny's minority coalition will be to manage through a series of inter-connected public service pay demands - without destroying the national finances just as they were on a path to recovery. It will be a challenge central to the survival of this minority coalition for any appreciable length of time.

November risks being a torrid month without effective policing and with hundreds of secondary schools closed. The impact on middle Ireland will be large and immediate. It is a situation which no government can allow to persist because we hire governments to keep basic services going.

Gardaí and teachers believe they have a special case. They are not the only ones who think so. But even those who are less seized by feelings of injustice are watching carefully.

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