Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform Sean Fleming has said the Government’s glossy “Public Service Reform Plan and Progress Report” does not match with its record of service delivery in this area.

Deputy Fleming commented: “The Government continues to pay lip service to the concept of public sector reform but their true motivation to date has been to increase charges and to cut the frontline services that are available to the public.

“We have seen from the manner in which the application process for medical cards was centralised, the difficulties that have beset Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) and record delays in social welfare applications and appeals that the customer is very low down the list of Government priorities.

“The proof of whether reform has been successful will not simply be in whether we are spending less money but also in achieving key targets such as waiting times for Accident & Emergency patients, waiting lists for consultants appointments and the length of time it takes to process Garda vetting applications.  The Government’s record in this area has been bitterly disappointing to date.

“The eye-popping amounts of money being spent by the new Super Quango Irish Water on consultancy and water meters do not bode well for it meeting the test of being customer focused.

“While the Government should endeavour to offer as many services as possible to the public online it should not forget the needs of those people in rural communities who cannot access reliable broadband services or people with limited IT literacy. I believe these documents have not been adequately accessibility-proofed to ensure that vulnerable groups are not cut off from the provision of vital services.”