Thursday, 15 December 2011
Dáil Éireann Debate
152. Deputy Joanna Tuffy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will give details of the number of public servants who earn more than €60,000 or less; the number of public servants that earn more than €70,000; €80,000; €90,000 and €100,000; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40688/11]
Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brendan Howlin): Contemporary data on earnings for public servants is not available to my Department. The most up to date earnings data available to the Revenue Commissioners, as stated in my Reply to Parliamentary Question 37624/11 on 29 November 2011, is not comparable for a number of reasons to the statistics produced by my Department on public service numbers and earnings. They also predate the measures taken to reduce gross public service wages in 2010.
The closest data currently available within the Department to that sought by the Deputy relates to salary ranges. The estimated breakdown of employee numbers on a whole time equivalent basis (based on a whole time equivalent figure of 300,000) by salary range within the public service in 2011 is set out in the Table below:
The above salary figures include the reduction imposed on the remuneration rates of public servants under the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (No 2) Act 2009 effective from 1 January 2010. However, the salary ranges exclude the impact on gross salaries of the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act 2009 which imposed a pension related deduction on the salary of public servants of an average of some 7% effective from March 2009.
153. Deputy Joanna Tuffy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the position regarding the public sector pay cap; if any voluntary pay reductions have been obtained to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40689/11]
I proposed this pay ceiling in light of the decision taken by the Government on its first day in office to reduce the salary of the Taoiseach to €200,000 and to apply a pro rata reduction to other members of the Government. In relation to current incumbents, the Government gave detailed consideration to the potential legal and contractual issues arising from the imposition of an immediate reduction of salaries. Having regard to those issues, the Government decided to seek voluntary waivers of salary of 15%, or by a lesser amount if the application of the full 15% reduction would bring the salary levels of such individuals to below the proposed pay ceiling.
Arrangements are being made to implement the pay ceiling for future appointments where salaries are determined by the appropriate Minister. In addition, the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Amendment) Bill 2011 which will, once enacted, apply the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Acts of 2009 to serving members of the judiciary in line with the decision of the people in the referendum on the Twenty Ninth Amendment of the Constitution is currently before the Oireachtas. This legislation will also amend the salary rate for future appointments to certain statutory offices, such as the Presidency, the Judiciary and the Ombudsman and formally provide for the reduction in the salary rates for members of the Government.
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