We cannot allow pay demands to ruin us
Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe may be obliged to re-read the 'Bible' story of 'The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes' in the very trying months which lie ahead of him. He is, in fact, being asked to perform something of a miracle himself.
Public service demands will dominate the political agenda for at least the first half of 2017. Already, the Government faces a nationwide strike by Bus Éireann workers a fortnight from today. There are growing demands from nurses, doctors and secondary teachers, to name but a few.
The bringing forward of pay rises for public servants will cost taxpayers €120m this year and the price of averting the Garda strike last November will cost €50m. Public-service pay demands are usually the cause of a chain reaction with one sector ramping up demands based on what was conceded in another sector.