They used to be lifeboats in hard economic times, but the public service jobs sector in Ireland is now looking leaky.
The Fine Gael/Labour government is planning to make 15,000 public sector positions redundant by 2015, and by doing so cutting €2.5 billion from the public sector gross pay bill, this compared with the 2008 total.
The move will bring public employment levels down to 282,500.
This year, according to an Irish Independent report, 5,000 staff will be made redundant under the public sector reform plan, announced last week by Public Expenditure Minister, Brendan Howlin.
And annual leave across the public service will be standardized with a maximum leave entitlement of 32 days.
Previously, some workers were entitled to over 40 days, the report said.
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And it continued: “Forty decentralization projects have been axed with a further 22 under review as the government attempts to cut costs in the bloated public sector. It is also planning to rationalize or cut 48 quangos and put a further 46 under ‘critical review.’ Other efficiencies in relation to shared services, improved procurement and property management systems and potential out-sourcing are also planned by the government.”
Said Minister Howlin: “The bottom line is we simply cannot sustain our current system of public service delivery. We must change. The coming years will not be easy. Future economic growth will only come from a solid and sustainable fiscal position.”
The planned cuts come as the coalition government is set to extract €3.8 billion from the Republic’s economy in next month’s budget.
It has agreed to peg the budget deficit at three percent of Gross Domestic Product by 2015 under the terms of the €67.5bn bailout program designed by the European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund.