Saturday 17 March 2018

Government has to grasp the public service nettle

The Croke Park deal is ringfenced against financial realism and it has to be renegotiated, writes Eamon Delaney

AS if the Government couldn't box itself in any more, both the Taoiseach and the Finance Minister have ruled out a re-opening of the Croke Park deal with the public-sector unions.

Worse still, they did so and kowtowed to the ICTU, even though they could have availed of a strong public mood to have such a deal re-opened, since the average Joe knows it was a crazy compromise which surrendered any chance of meaningful reform in the civil service, or of reducing the size of our expensive and bloated public sector. But the Government couldn't grasp the nettle. They're going down anyway, so why didn't they do what was good for the country?

Contrast this with the UK, where the Conservative/Lib Dem coalition simply cut child benefit for the well-off, regardless of the political cost among the public. And yet the public respect this. Because it's tough decision-making.

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