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Public service pay is only one part of a coherent, integrated response to address Ireland's current difficultie
Public service pay is only one of a range of areas that need to be addressed in a coherent and integrated manner if the common good is to guide decisions on Ireland’s future. Issues such as taxation, debt, investment and competitiveness, public services and public expenditure levels and public sector reform should all be addressed in an integrated manner that maximises fairness and solidarity. Otherwise there is a real danger that some sectors in Irish society, particularly those who are poor or vulnerable, will be further disadvantaged, as a result of the choices made and the consequent allocation of Ireland’s scarce resources.
Of particular concern at this moment is the need to ensure that all aspects of Ireland’s current multi-faceted crises be addressed in a coherent and integrated manner and to ensure that choices are made on the basis of the common good. There is always a danger that resources will be allocated to protect the interests of those who are strong, powerful and/or vocal.
Since taking up office the current Government has introduced two Budgets – both of which were deeply unjust, regressive and socially divisive. They hit people on low incomes, including the working poor, more than they hit the better off. Economically they failed to address unemployment. They provided neither a vision nor direction for the country. This situation must be changed fundamentally.
The Government’s, and the troika’s, focus has been disproportionately on reducing the budget deficit. Such reduction is important and required. However, reducing the deficit by creating a fractured society, a weak economy and persistently high unemployment is not a recipe for recovery.
Ireland needs a new approach which prioritises investment, promotes public services, protects vulnerable people and communities and ensures its development is underpinned by an equitable tax system.
Key elements of A Framework for Solidarity and Recovery
Social Justice Ireland suggests that the key components of a framework for solidarity and recovery should include:
- Public sector reform
- Public service Pay
- Investment and competitiveness
- Public services and public expenditure
Labour Relations Commissions Proposals can be downloaded below