Statement by the Department of Public Expenditure & Reform.

21st May, 2013

Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin this morning briefed his Cabinet colleagues on the outcome of talks at the LRC.

The Minister advised his colleagues that following intensive negotiations, the unions have now draft proposals for agreement for consideration under their own rules and procedures.  The Minister thanked all those involved in the talks, particularly the LRC who facilitated the discussions, and restated that Government had sought at all times to make the necessary savings by agreement.

If these proposals are accepted it will be possible to achieve the required savings and major increases in public service productivity.  The essential elements and protection of the Croke Park Agreement will remain in place. That will benefit both people working in the public service and all of us who rely on public services.

From the national perspective, industrial peace in the public service can be secured at a critical time in our path to economic recovery.

As previously indicated, the Government also approved the text and publication of legislation to give effect to the pay reduction for those earning over €65,000, the parallel reduction in public service pensions and other contingent measures to enable the Government achieve its savings requirements in the event of non-ratification of collective agreements .

The legislation will be published on Thursday.