Fine Gael Waterford Deputy, Paudie Coffey, has today (Friday) said that since 2010 the total number of people working in the public sector has been reduced by more than 15,000, which is a clear sign of the Government’s commitment to reforming how we conduct our business.
Deputy Coffey went on to say that the Government plans to reduce the total number of public sector workers is on track to meet its targets. The Government has committed to reducing public sector numbers by between 18,000 to 21,000 by the end of 2014, with a further 4,000 to be reduced by the end of 2015.
“Public sector reform was a commitment given by almost every political party before the last general election and although a reduction of public sector numbers does not represent reform in itself, it is a big part of the process. The public sector, quite simply, had grown out of control and was not financially viable for the State. We now have a situation where public sector workers are doing much more with less and for that they should be commended.
“In addition, public sector workers have committed to the Haddington Road Agreement to take a final reduction in their pay in the country’s interest. We are also beginning to see the first signs of the easing of recruitment embargoes in essential areas of the public sector including, Health and Justice.
“While numbers in the public sector will continue to fall over the course of the next couple of years through natural wastage and voluntary redundancies, resources must be put to best use so that they can deliver best services for the public.
“Any reforms or changes which see new systems being implemented are never easy, however people voted at the last general election for change and that is what this Government must deliver. We are seeing more efficient systems being put in place right across our public sector and by the end of this Government’s term we will have a leaner, more efficient and flexible public sector workforce that is better able to meet the public’s needs.
“The public sector has played an immense part in our economic recovery to date and this should not be underestimated. It has shown it is willing to do what is in Ireland’s best interest even though these measures may at times be hard to take.
“That spirit and that ethic is something that we can all learn from as we all take the final steps out of the bailout programme and regain our economic sovereignty at the end of 2013.”
Note to Editors: please see link to public sector number on Public Expenditure and Reform Website: http://databank.per.gov.ie/