Fine Gael’s Plan to reduce the size of government

Fianna Fáil’s increasingly desperate attacks on Fine Gael’s proposals to radically reform government only expose the shallow nature of Micheál Martin’s own plans, Fine Gael’s Enterprise Spokesman Richard Bruton said today (Tuesday).

“Fine Gael has produced fully-costed and credible plans to both reduce the size of government, and protect frontline services. Fine Gael will start with the political system itself, including our plans to abolish the Seanad, and reduce the number of TDs. Fianna Fáil by contrast wants more politicians at national level.“Fine Gael is also determined to reform the system of severance payments for retiring Ministers, introduce car pooling at Cabinet, and curb the salaries of politicians.

“A key element of Fine Gael’s 5 Point Plan to get Ireland Working is to modernise our public services and reward effort and innovation while penalising waste and inefficiency. As part of this process Fine Gael will reduce the total headcount in the public sector by one in ten, or approximately 30,000.

“The Government already plans to reduce the total public sector headcount by 12,000 through retirements. The extra 18,000 reduction in numbers proposed by Fine Gael is focused completely on back office personnel. It will be done entirely on a voluntary basis, at an estimated cost of between €800 million and €1 billion.

“Three years into this crisis, Fianna Fáil has undertaken no restructuring of government whatsoever. All the quangos they have created are still intact. They haven’t rationalised any bureaucratic processes. Their only proposal has been to impose pay cuts and attack frontline services, while running shy of necessary efficiencies in the public services. The hallmark of Micheál Martin’s career is that reform has always been one wheelbarrow full of reports away from taking action.

“There will be no compulsory redundancies. The 30,000 reduction in the total headcount will save in the region of €10 billion in the public sector pay bill over a five year period on a cumulative basis, broken down as follows:

• 2012: €826 million
• 2013: €1,646 million
• 2014: €2,466 million
• 2015: €2,466 million
• 2016: €2,466 million

Total savings from headcount reduction over five years: €9,870 million
• Total cost of headcount reduction over five years: €800-€1,000 million”