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News : Irish Economy Last Updated: Jun 9, 2014 - 8:28 AM

Irish Economy 2014: Public pay and pensions bill down 6% since 2007
By Michael Hennigan, Finfacts founder and editor
Jun 6, 2014 - 7:35 AM

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Government Buildings, Dublin.

Irish Economy 2014: The public pay and pensions bill has fallen by 6% since 2007 based on data published by the Government.

The Dept of Public Expenditure and Reform's [PER] website and databank are very poor as information tools and its IrelandStat databank is updated to only 2011.

The data below are net values for each year after deducting staff pension contributions.

The data are from an annual report covering 2007-2012; here for 2001; here for 2006

Figures for 2014 and 2015 come from the annual Stability Programme Updates as well as the PER datbank.

Staff at local authorities c.30,000 are not included.

2001 €10.2bn
2006 €16.2bn
2007 €17.6bn
2008 €18.7bn
2012 €16.9bn
2014 €16.6bn
2015 €16.4bn

The pay and pensions bill rose by 59% in the period 2001-2006.

Increases in public sector over the period 2001-2006 due to general pay rounds total €2.479bn (or 24.3%); “special” pay increases (primarily Benchmarking) total €1.328bn (or 13%), and other factors (such as extra numbers of 38,000 and rising pensions for retirees) total €2.193m (or 21.6%).

CSO data show that consumer prices rose 18% in the period 2001-2006 while the average industrial wage rose 22%.

Consumer prices slightly fell in the period 2008-2013.

Full-time equivalent numbers in the public service fell from 279,000 in 2009 (no earlier data available on FTEs) to 264,000 in 2012.

Staff pension contributions increased from €561m in 2007 to €1.556bn in 2010 and €1.509bn in 2012.

The Irish Independent reported this week that data it was provided shows that a total of €1.4bn in incremental or length-of-service pay rises pay, has been paid in the public sector since 2007.

The PER's databank shows gross pay falling from €15.3bn in 2012 (total including pensions was €18.4bn) to €15.1bn in 2003 and €14.5bn in 2014.

The full-year savings of the 'Haddington Road' public pay agreement in 2013 has a target of €1bn - - €210m relates to pay of earners on €65,000+ €130m relates to increments and the rest is productivity and related measures but in the health area, budget limits are already being breached.

So  €500m in savings would likely be a best outcome.

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