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Watch out civil servants - Renua are gunning for you

The party launched the first of two policy documents (relating to public service rewards and a ‘right to know’ public data law) this afternoon.

3/11/2015 RENUA Ireland Policies Launch Source: Leah Farrell/Rollingnews.ie

RENUA HAVE LAUNCHED the first of two public sector policy documents this afternoon.

Having been accused in the past of being a bit light on policy, the party have put the public sector firmly in their sights with this latest launch.

The paper deals with two specific threads – a ‘right to know’ law for the public, and public service remuneration.

Currently, and for time immemorial, civil servants have been rewarded with a series of increments depending upon their grade level within the sector.

Renua is proposing to change that with a view to a more meritocratic way of doing things.

“We would contend that longevity of service rather than rated performance as a basis for remuneration is wrong,” Renua leader Lucinda Creighton said at the official policy launch at the Dáil plinth this afternoon.

People who work hard above and beyond the call of duty should be rewarded appropriately, and indeed the reverse should be true for those who serially underperform.

The fact that such a structure could lead to added bonuses for politicians was not denied by the Renua leader.

“You’re talking about a system that should be linked to outcomes,” she said. “Not just in terms of economic growth but in terms of quality of life for citizens.”

Under them in government Creighton’s party would rejig what’s in place to a kind of performance-related bonus system, similar to what’s already in place at Bord Gais.

The party stresses that this measure would be all about accountability, with those at managerial grade being the primary focus.

And could this lead to sackings? It could indeed it seems.

Absolutely it could lead to sackings. Serial underperformers should not be immune from losing their jobs if they’re given the opportunity to improve and just refuse to do so,” she said.

Unaccountable

When asked what she thought the public sector unions would make of all this Creighton replied:

Well, who’s running the country? Elected representatives? Or unaccountable unions.

How the electorate would react to such an idea is open to question. While it may be well-received by those working in the private sector, the same is not necessarily the case for those to whom the measures would be of most relevance, civil servants themselves.

The other side of the party’s proposal involves the creation of a public ‘right to know’ law, which will essentially guarantee the public’s right to access all of their details, financial or otherwise, from the likes of the HSE and other government departments.

The stated idea behind such a law would be to put the onus on the state to prove why they should be able to deny a citizen the right to see the information held on them, according to a Renua spokesperson.

“That should remove the need for long and costly court cases,” they said.

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