Cuts are inevitable if public sector pay rises while the economy slides
Demands for pay hikes over and above those in the Budget have come at the worst time for the economy
In 2014, when Ireland's public pay and pensions bill fell to its post-crash low point, it stood at 25.7pc of total public spending, according to EU-level data.
That was the seventh-highest total among the 28 members of the bloc. Across the EU as a whole, compensation for state employees as a share of public expenditure was one sixth lower than in Ireland.
There are no recent figures available from the Euro statisticians, but we know that Ireland's pay bill has been increasing since then.