Croke Park must focus on efficiency
If cost were the only problem in the Irish public sector, at least one would know what to do. But, while the cost per citizen is high by European standards, the quality is often low, by any standards.
Both problems – cost and quality – need to be tackled. In principle, Croke Park has the potential to address both. The main objections to it have been that it has not made sufficient progress on either. The Government's decision to approach the trade unions for a sequel will be taken by some as a tacit admission that more needs to be done.
The target of another €1bn savings over three years is ambitious – representing more than 5pc of the pay bill. But the €8bn which the Government is meant to find in revenues and spending cuts is becoming more elusive, as growth prospects for the next three years fade, and further savings will have to be made.