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Croke Park Deal

Croke Park Deal has saved almost €600m in first year – review

The results of the first review into the public service pay deal show the public pay bill alone has been reduced by €239m.

THE FINDINGS OF the first major review into the operations of the Croke Park Pay Deal has been published today by the Public Expenditure minister Brendan Howlin.

The review of the agreement’s operations, covering a 12-month period to the end of March 2011, has outlined savings of a total of €597m –  with the public pay bill reduced by €239m in the deal’s first year.

These savings had been introduced by cutting 5,349 people from the public payroll – cutting the public workforce “more quickly than previously estimated” – while “services have been maintained, and in some cases expanded”.

Other costs had been cut by reducing permitted overtime and by and rationalising other work practices.

An independent external auditor, MKO Partners Ltd, was asked to verify the savings made in three sample projects, and found that all three “demonstrated a capacity to facilitate verifiable savings”.

Howlin expressed his satisfaction with the progress outlined in the report, but sounded a note of caution.

“The reality is that further significant cuts in expenditure, coupled with further substantial reductions in the numbers employed in the public service, are unavoidable,” he said.

A spokesperson for the public service union IMPACT said the agreement had gotten off to a “very strong start, despite criticism from some commentators and economists in the wake of the State’s requirement to borrow from the IMF/EU/ECB”.

ICTU general secretary Shay Cody said the agreement was achieving “what it sent out to do – namely to reduce the cost of delivering public services, while at the same time maintaining and in some cases improving those services.”

The findings are published on the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform’s website.

Croke Park targets for local government staffing ‘already met’ >

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