Fianna Fáil Public Expenditure Spokesperson Sean Fleming TD has called on the Government to make time available in the Dáil this week for Minister Brendan Howlin to detail the plans in place in each Department to manage the large scale retirements from the public sector this month. Ministers should also publish the sectoral plans in place locally to protect frontline public services.
Deputy Fleming said: “The Government needs to be clear with people. Ministers have been in overdrive telling the public that there are plans in place to protect frontline services following the public sector retirements this month. However, just days in, we see Minister Reilly today acknowledging that surgeries will be cancelled in the weeks ahead.
“If the Government is serious about empowering ‘transition teams’ to make decisions locally about redeployment across services where gaps emerge, then the public have a right to hear the details of these plans and who is managing them.
“People are rightly concerned that health and education will be most affected by the almost 8,000 public sector retirements this month. It is crucial that Ministers are available to the Dáil, and in particular Minister Howlin, to detail how this process is going to be handled over the coming weeks.
“Instead of leading this process, the Government is again putting PR first. If the retirements issue is handled well, Ministers will take the credit and if services suffer it will be local managers that get the blame. This is why the Government should publish the detailed plans in place now so that the public have an honest idea of what to expect and know who is actually accountable for protecting frontline services.”