Tuesday 20 March 2018

Mandarins lack skills to drive reforms in 'bijou' bureaucracy

The public service here is small and expensive and any shake-up, like in Scandinavian countries, will take time

BE under no illusions about the challenge the Government set itself with its approach to public sector costs: shrink an already small public service, whose performance was widely regarded as sub-standard, while improving those standards.

In practice, this may well depend on the state of the public finances at the time – 2018 being the favoured date. In principle, it enshrines the status of the Irish public service as small and expensive.

This is especially so given government vagueness on the idea that those now starting on lower salaries will eventually enjoy the generous, by international and domestic standards, incomes of their existing colleagues.

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