Public sector must change their ways

CAN the professions do more to help bolster the country's precarious finances? Two important groups, hospital consultants and teachers, have been asked to change their work practices in the light of our straitened economic circumstances.

Some agreement was reached between consultants' representatives and the HSE today, but issues remain outstanding and the matter has yet to be ratified.

For their part, teachers are set to be asked to work a standard week of 40 hours.

There are a number of other areas where savings could also be made.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has asked his ministers to cut costs in the public sector sick pay bill and to examine if more money could be saved by voluntary redundancies.

It is not unreasonable for the taxpayer, facing an austerity Budget with €2.25bn of cuts, to expect that savings can be made in some, if not most, of these areas.