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Brendan Howlin Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland
Public Service

Cost of public sector pay rises to be halved this year – Howlin

The length-of-service increments will cost the taxpayer €90million in 2012 – down from €180million last year.

THE COST OF standard public sector pay rises to the taxpayer will be halved this year, according to Brendan Howlin.

The Government is expected the bill for public sector increments – regular pay rises awarded for length of service – to fall from €180million in 2011 to less than €90million in 2012.

Howlin, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, said this was down to reduced numbers in the public service, as well as the recruitment ban. He added:

Significantly reduced recruitment, the ongoing substantial fall in numbers of public servants, and higher numbers reaching the maxima of scales will ensure this cost will continue to fall over the coming years.

The Minister was responding to a Dáil question from independent TD Stephen Donnelly, who had asked whether the increments were “an appropriate use of scarce budgetary resources”.

Howlin also said that payment of the increments was not resulting in layoffs among public sector workers on fixed term contracts.

He said that suspending increments would disproportionately affect lower-paid and front line staff.

More: Public sector reforms need ‘more urgency’ to succeed – Hayes>

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