Tuesday 24 April 2018

‘We can’t afford public pay hikes’

And now you’ll be taxed for your water too

Prof John McHale. Photo: Damien Eagers
Prof John McHale. Photo: Damien Eagers

Donal O'Donovan, Paul Melia and Anne-Marie Walsh

Increases in public sector pay will have to be paid for by hiking taxes or cutting public services next year, the State's budget watchdog has warned.

The Irish Fiscal Advisory Council offers a stark assessment of Government policies which it says make the economy less resilient to a new crisis.

"There are hard choices to be made. Additional public sector pay will have to be offset by lower spending elsewhere or higher taxes," its chairman Professor John McHale said.

The report comes as Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe refused to rule out extra pay rises for public servants next year.

Meanwhile, families face new taxes in order to cover the €1bn annual cost of providing water services as the hated charging system faces abolition.

The expert group on water says "normal" domestic consumption should be funded from general taxation. It opens the door to a new water tax, or increases in income taxes to fund the utility.

Irish Independent

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