Saturday 25 November 2017

Bite the bullet on public sector

IT appears public sector reform is again high on the Government's agenda. It is believed that the Taoiseach's reshuffle, in the wake of the Minister for Defence's departure, is to include the appointment of a junior minister who would sit at the cabinet table with particular responsibility for public sector reform.

Such an appointment would indicate that the Government truly intends to address a mighty problem, but actions speak louder than words. Likewise, a reorganisation of the economic departments to sharpen the focus on jobs and economic stimulus has a dynamic ring to it, but only time will tell, and time is something the country does not have.

Yesterday, as industrial action started to take hold, a public service union leader reiterated on radio the myth that the Government had spurned a golden offer of instant reform in return for leaving the public service pay bill untouched, but the improvements in mobility and productivity that he implied were on offer had already been paid for through benchmarking and bonuses.

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