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Cabinet backs down on €75m in cuts over Croke Park fears –

THE GOVERNMENT has admitted to backing down on cutting €75 million in public service allowances over fears it might imperil the Croke Park agreement.

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin acknowledged yesterday the Government would fail to meet its target, with only €3.5 million due to be saved this year.

Under the plans agreed by the Cabinet yesterday, only one allowance out of 1,100 paid across the public service is to be abolished for serving personnel.

This is a representational allowance of up to €218 for staff attending EU meetings.

Other allowances paid to existing personnel may be reviewed or bought out in the future. The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform said it could not identify these allowances to the media due to industrial relations considerations.

Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar said last night that to have pushed ahead with the planned cuts would have jeopardised the continuation of the Croke Park agreement on public service pay and reform.

He said for savings of €75 million “it was not worth throwing the agreement into the bin”.

Aside from the €75 million initially planned, Mr Howlin had promised savings of €150 million in 2013 and another €150 million in 2014 under a previous announcement.

The department was not able to comment on the status of those targets last night.

via Cabinet backs down on €75m in cuts over Croke Park fears – The Irish Times – Wed, Sep 19, 2012.

via Cabinet backs down on €75m in cuts over Croke Park fears – The Irish Times – Wed, Sep 19, 2012.

Consultants’ talks continue –

Talks between the health service management and hospital consultants have continued overnight despite the Minister for Health setting a deadline of last night for the conclusion of the discussions.

James Reilly had said anything that was not agreed by last night at the Labour Relations Commission would be referred to the Labour Court for a binding ruling under the provisions of the Croke Park agreement.

The Government said it intends to appoint hospital consultants in the future on “substantially” lower pay rates.

In a document tabled at talks at the Labour Relations Commission, health service management proposed that there would be “no differentiation between future appointees and existing consultants in terms of title, status or scope of practice”.

via Consultants’ talks continue – The Irish Times – Mon, Sep 17, 2012.

via Consultants’ talks continue –.

Taoiseach wants more Croke Park savings –

TAOISEACH ENDA Kenny has given his Ministers a week to outline further savings achievable under the Croke Park agreement in what was described as a “reinvigoration” of the process but not a review.

The Cabinet yesterday agreed “further work was required” on Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin’s controversial memo containing limited proposals to reform 800 allowance payments for about 300,000 staff in the public service

via Taoiseach wants more Croke Park savings – The Irish Times – Thu, Sep 13, 2012.

via Taoiseach wants more Croke Park savings – The Irish Times – Thu, Sep 13, 2012.


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