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Thursday 26 April 2018

Croke Park deal 'still not on track'

Fionnan Sheahan Political Editor

PUBLIC sector workers will have to speed up the rate of delivery of the Croke Park deal, despite exceeding the targets so far, a new report reveals.

The first report into the public sector wage deal found it saved over €600m so far -- €290m from pay and €310m from non-pay elements.

The saving from the pay bill has exceeded the target for 2011 already. But the first report also says the rate of progress must be "significantly accelerated" if its implementation is to be regarded as "being on track" over the next year.

The report covers the first year of the deal from March 2010 to March 2011. It found €290m was saved from reductions in the pay bill -- largely by reducing staff numbers by nearly 5,500, reducing overtime and changing outdated work practices.

Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Brendan Howlin brought the report to Cabinet yesterday and will publish the findings today.

The Government has warned public sector workers of further pay cuts if the Croke Park agreement is not delivered.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny warned in April there would be "consequences" if the desired savings were not achieved under the Croke Park deal.

Mr Kenny said the IMF/EU deal insisted the Croke Park agreement had to be implemented by a certain date. And he indicated negative conditions for public sector numbers and pay would be forced upon Ireland if this was not done.

The comments came days after Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte said public service workers' pay would be cut again unless significant savings could be made under the Croke Park deal. Mr Rabbitte said progress now had to be made on voluntary redundancies.

Irish Independent

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