Government has badly mishandled public-sector pay claims, says Shortall

The Social Democrats have accused the Government of mishandling the public pay crisis.

The party says the focus needs to be on providing more affordable housing, healthcare and insurance - rather than simply increasing pay across the board.

It is holding its first national conference today, which will also look at accessible education and transparency in politics.

Co-leader of the party, Deputy Roisin Shortall, said that finances will continue to be tight for the next while so we have to find other ways of fulfilling the needs of workers.

"Unfortunately, the Government has mishandled this very badly and the fact of the matter is that we should be concentrating on reducing the cost of living for people and also tackling the exorbitant cost of housing," she said.

"And if we do that, and we invest in public services, that will remove a lot of the upward pressure on wages.

"We need to take a much more holistic approach to this."

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