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Top Irish civil servants paid more than EU counterparts

However, administrative staff are paid less than those in corresponding jobs elsewhere in Europe.

Brendan Howlin following Croke Park Agreement talks last June.
Brendan Howlin following Croke Park Agreement talks last June.
Image: Photocall Ireland

Top and middle managers in central government are paid more than the average European salary, a new report has revealed.

However, according to the Public Sector Trends 2011 report, the pay of administrative staff is towards the lower end of European norms.

On average, top civil servants in Ireland were paid 7.7 times that of their administrative staff in 2009. In other European countries, the senior compensation levels were just 3.5 times that of clerical workers.

Only Belgium, the UK and Italy pay their top managers more, according to the 2009 data which takes into account the cuts made through the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act.

For those classed as clerical and administrative workers, only the UK, Hungary, Estonia and Slovenia pay less than Ireland.

The quality of Ireland’s public administration remains close to the European average, the report found. This is measured in terms of the upholding of values such as independence from political interference, freedom from bribery and corruption, and reliability and administrative fairness.

The authors of the report, published by the Institute of Public Administration, said this was a “credible” position for Ireland given its size and recent economic downturn.

The research found that the number of people employed in the public sector is now down to below 2006 levels. Two out of every three employees work in either health or education.

This year, about 105,000 people have worked in the health sector with another 93,000 in education.

Dr Boyle, one of the authors of the report, said those staff numbers were “not excessive” by European standards.

The Exchequer’s pay and pensions bill – which had doubled between 2000 and 2008 – has fallen back to €17.1 billion.

The report, however, found that the growth in public spending in the past few years is an issue that needs “particular attention”.

Looking at the effectiveness of Ireland’s central government, the World Bank has dropped its score for the fours years from 2005 to 2009.

Read the full report from the IPA here>

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