Howlin: Lowest paid first in line for wage rise
PUBLIC Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin has said low paid public servants will be first in line for pay increases during the upcoming wave of negotiations.
Talks on restoring public sector pay will take place shortly after the Government scrutinises the next set of exchequer returns due around Easter.
Government officials have already begun preparing for the talks with trade unions and will emphasise that any new pay deal will have implications on the prospect of tax cuts and spending measures in the Budget.
Mr Howlin, who will be a central figure in the negotiations, yesterday said higher earning workers have taken three separate pay reductions and that this must be considered.
"But for anyone on over €65,000, they've had three actual reductions in their wages, now that has to be addressed. But it has to be addressed in a sustainable way that doesn't put the enormous progress we've made at risk," Mr Howlin said.
However, the Labour Party minister confirmed that the initial pay increases will focus on those on the lower end of the pay scale.
"We will focus the initial restoration on the lowest paid," he added.
Several public sector unions have already begun to lay out their cards ahead of the beginning of the talks next month.
Unions such as IMPACT have said the pension levy, which averages 7.5pc, will be on the table during the talks.
The levy was introduced under the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Acts 2009-2013, known as FEMPI.