Thursday 18 January 2018

Anger over U-turn in plan to cut pay of top civil servants

Michael Brennan

A decision to exclude senior civil servants from the brunt of pay cuts announced in the Budget has been criticised as "underhand and unjustified".

Their basic salaries have been only marginally reduced because the pay cuts have been calculated on figures that include a bonus scheme that ended early last year, rather than on basic salary.

The decision announced by the Department of Finance means that an assistant secretary in the civil service earning €147,000 last year will take a salary cut of around €1,000 this year -- less than 1pc.

Wrong

Fine Gael finance spokesman Richard Bruton said there was no justification for exempting senior civil servants from the pain that the rest of the public sector was being forced to bear.

"With people earning as little as the minimum wage being asked to take a 5pc cut under the Government's proposals, the exemption of senior people from full cutbacks is manifestly wrong," he said.

Mr Bruton said the Department of Finance was wrong to consider bonuses as part of core salaries.

"Most sections of the private sector operate on a completely separate principle, with bonuses only paid out as a reward for exceptional performance," he added.

He said he would be raising the matter in the Dail at the earliest opportunity.

Irish Independent

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