Cyprus was just for starters – Ireland could provide the main course

Union rejection of €1bn in spending cuts means the Irish government find itself forced to slash public sector pay by 7%

Cyprus was just an hors d’oeuvre. Portugal is readying itself for a convulsive moment when the government attempts to bypass a constitutional court ruling that bans many of its most caustic austerity measures. The situation worsens daily in Greece. And then there is Ireland.

A plan to slash €1bn (£860m) from the public service pay bill over three years has just been rejected by unions, plunging the Fine Gael/Labour government into crisis. The deal was supposed to be sealed by July, but with further negotiations and ballots necessary to get the cuts plan back on track, and with union opposition hardening, the government may be forced to carry out a threatened 7% across-the-board cut in pay.

The €1bn in savings is part of the Irish government’s deal with Brussels and the IMF and must be implemented if the government is to comply with rules that govern how much it receives in bailout funds.

It was always going to be tough to persuade public sector workers to accept a pay cut when much of Irish society remains unreconstructed from the corrupt boom years and the bankers, property developers and professionals who benefited handsomely before 2008 appear to have gone unpunished.

For many public service workers the 7% cut is just the latest attack on their living standards. For some, it will add up to a 25% fall in incomes since 2008.

The so-called Croke Park II deal that broke down on Tuesday is more nuanced, but includes pay cuts for all as a central measure.

Deputy prime minister Eamon Gilmore is hopeful of a resolution, but it won’t be easy persuading Labour MPs to back an imposed pay cut that will inevitably lead to a confrontation with workers across the public sector.

Read More : theguardian


One Response to Cyprus was just for starters – Ireland could provide the main course

  1. ulsterman April 22, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    Incomes have fallen 25%,over 80% is necessary but like the tax on cigarettes and fuel the state will only inflict pain in stages . In a few years time when the vampire banks own the air you breath (they already own the water you drink) you will appreciate what has been allowed to happen to your country, but then it will be too late. The Ex Irish nation deserves all it is getting and all it is going to get.


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