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Leo should stick to his guns on pay

MINISTER for Health Leo Varadkar should stick to his guns.

The consultant pay in Ireland is extraordinarily generous.

With salaries up to €175k at the top of the scale, it is far more than the average worker could dream of achieving.

Talks between the IMO and the HSE on pay scales of new hospital consultants ended this week at the Labour Relations Commission without agreement.

But the HSE, with the Minister's backing, are pressing ahead with the new ceiling for top doctors' salaries. Minister Varadkar was right to say that the salary is "very good by anyone's reckoning".

The rates are comparable to any English-speaking country, and if the doctors are not willing to accept the €105,000 starting rate, then let them try elsewhere.

The State's purse-strings have been pulled taut for all sections of the economy - including pay rates.

Why should employees in the health service be any different?