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Just what is An Bord Snip Nua?

An Bord Snip Nua is the nickname of the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes.

The nickname comes from the moniker for the original group formed in 1987 by Charlie Haughey and Ray MacSharry to identify areas for the Fianna Fail minority government to cut spending.

Colm McCarthy, who lectures in economics in UCD and is a frequent financial commentator in the media, was a member of the original An Bord Snip.

He was chosen to chair An Bord Snip Nua when it was set up in December 2008, following the disastrous set of Exchequer returns.

Aside from identifying cuts in public spending, its brief also included full freedom to make recommendations on any aspect of public sector reform, which the Government regards as crucial to the restoration of competitiveness in the economy.

The group was asked to report quickly so savings can be made as soon as possible.

The original report was never published but the majority of its recommendations are believed to have been implemented.

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