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News : Irish Economy Last Updated: Oct 16, 2012 - 7:43 AM


Irish Economy: Howlin says Croke Park savings 'accurate'; Benchmarked against bubble-time highs
By Michael Hennigan, editor and founder of Finfacts
Oct 15, 2012 - 1:32 PM

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Minister Howlin and Taoiseach Enda Kenny pictured at the Infrastructure Stimulus Press Briefing, Government Buildings, Dublin, July 17, 2012.

Irish Economy: Brendan Howlin, minister for public expenditure and reform, says claimed Croke Park savings from public service 'reforms' are 'accurate' but it's easy to claim non- pay savings when benchmarked against bubble-time highs when spending was out-of-control. Meanwhile, pay savings are benchmarked against 2008 when pay cuts and a pensions levy were imposed.

On claimed savings on the "pay bill," note that claimed savings do not include the additional pension costs and if  2006, the peak year of the bubble was used as a  benchmark, there would be NO savings in the payroll bill by 2015.

Besides, how about accruing the costs of voluntary redundancies in an unreformed pension system linked with current earnings over 25-30 years for new retirees?

SEE: Finfacts article June 2012; Howlin lauds sham cost savings in Croke Park public service agreement

Statement:

"In their report earlier this year Grant Thornton made clear that they were satisfied with the savings they examined including those of the Department of Agriculture. They concluded “the declared savings reported by management in each of the four projects were found to be reasonable estimates”

We understand that Grant Thornton spoke with Deputy Eoghan Murphy and confirmed that they were satisfied with all the savings reported.

There is no conclusion in their report that savings were overestimated

Pay bill savings reported under the Agreement are based on the average annualised savings per employee arising from the reduction in staff numbers across the public service during the relevant review period as well as other reductions in the costs of the public service pay bill.

The €810m in such savings reported by the Body are an accurate reflection of the pay bill savings facilitated by the Agreement and are in no way overestimated.

In relation to the headline in today’s Irish Times, “Troika is dissatisfied with scale of Croke Park savings”, the Troika has never expressed concern in respect of the Croke Park savings, a fact that we have confirmed with the Troika today."

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