Fianna Fáil Public Expenditure Spokesperson Sean Fleming TD has called on the Government to come forward with answers to a number of key questions on the proposed update to the Croke Park agreement.
Deputy Fleming commented, “At the weekend, we saw a confused and contradictory series of messages from Government. Extra benefits for compliant unions was on the table, before being ruled out by Minister Ruairí Quinn, before being put back on the table by Leo Varadkar – all in the space of a few hours.
“Now that the extra money appears to have been confirmed, I would like Minister Howlin to spell out what procedures are in place to allow unions to achieve further concessions that were not part of the original draft proposals put forward by the LRC.
“There are a number of other important questions that the Minister should answer as soon as possible. For example, what are the revised targets to be achieved in terms of pay and pensions savings since the draft agreement was published? How much of these savings can now be achieved through non-payroll savings?
“Also, I think it is important that the Minister give the detail of the savings that he expects to be achieved from people earning under €35,000 a year and between €35,000 and €65,000. While Government sources repeatedly claim that the relatively low paid workers will not be adversely affected, unions representing people in these categories and working on the frontline claim that they face major cuts.
“The Minister needs to make it clear at this early stage what savings he is expecting, so that decisions on the basic fairness of the proposals can be taken.”