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Just €250,000 could be saved on increments - AHCPS

(16 Oct 2012)

‘Just €250,000 could be saved on increments’

By Stephen Rogers

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The non-payment of increments to senior civil servants would save the State just €250,000, a senior trade union leader has claimed.

Dave Thomas, general secretary of the Association of Higher Civil and Public Servants (AHCPS), was responding to yesterday’s claim by eight Fine Gael TDs that protecting core pay under the Croke Park deal "does not mean protecting pay increases and unnecessary allowances for those on higher salaries".

The TDs claimed that if increments were taken off the table, that would save the public sector pay bill about €170m next year.

Mr Thomas said his union fully recognised the serious economic challenges that faced the Government at this time.

"The association also understands that a reform process is under way throughout the public service through the Croke Park Agreement, as agreed between public service unions and the Government."

However, he questioned whether the TDs knew what the cuts they were proposing would actually yield.

"Recent calls for the non-payment of increments to senior public servants, including my members, are being made without any true understanding of what savings would be achieved," he said.

"The reality is that this would save the State approximately €500,000 per annum gross in the civil service, with a subsequent loss of income tax and revenue from the universal social charge for the State. All in all, savings would be in the region of €250,000."

He said AHCPS members had already endured a pay cut and a pension levy which had reduced salary levels for their grades by up to 16% in basic pay.

"They have also been disproportionately impacted by the recent decision to abolish the chairpersons’ and delegates’ allowance, the only allowance that was abolished," he said.

Mr Thomas, and other unions, also pointed out that Croke Park is delivering savings.

"There are 28,000 fewer public servants now than there were in 2008 resulting in a saving of €1.5bn," he said.

"This has all been achieved without any industrial unrest.

"In this context the AHCPS continues to support the Croke Park Agreement and strongly believes that it offers the best method of achieving reform while maintaining industrial harmony."


This story appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Tuesday, October 16, 2012

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Association of Higher Civil and Public Servants