THE DÁIL IS due to be presented with revised Budget spending figures for the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform today, despite the rejection of the Croke Park 2 pay deal.
The revised figures, which were part of new estimates published last week, incorporated a €300 million reduction in the public pay this year – assuming that the Croke Park 2 proposals would have been accepted by public sector unions.
Brendan Howlin has insisted that the €300 million savings need to be found – but opposition TDs yesterday walked out of an Oireachtas committee saying they could not scrutinise spending arrangements which incorporated the now-rejected pay deal.
The revised spending estimates were approved by government TDs in the absence of their opposition counterparts, meaning they will be sent back to the Dáil to be rubberstamped today.
The opposition groups are likely to try and stop the estimates from being approved – something Howlin yesterday ruled out, saying the approval was needed in order to ensure that some bodies under his remit did not run out of funding by next week.
Howlin said he would be happy to present further revisions to the figures if an agreement cutting the State’s payroll costs was reached with the unions representing the country’s 292,000 public workers.
While the Department of Public Expenditure’s revised figures do not change much between the original Budget figures and today’s revisions – with an increase of 2.8 per cent, or €26.5 million, in the revised figures – the dispute is likely to be revived when figures for other high-spending Departments are discussed in the coming weeks.