Howlin: Legal advice says public service increments constitute basic pay

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin said today that he has received legal advice that increments for public servants are part of their core pay.

His statement comes amid ongoing controversy surrounding the pace of progress in implementing the Croke Park Agreement covering pay and pensions in the sector.

The Government has already come under fire regarding pay rises for top earners in the public sector, after admitting it could not block them.

Today, Minister Brendan Howlin said that increments have been part of the pay structure for a variety of public servants since the foundation of the State, and they have certain protection.

"I can tell you, my legal advice, and I've looked at this from the beginning, is very clear - that increments constitute basic pay, and represent part of the terms and conditions applicable to staff," he said.

"Now that's the legal advice that I have to work on, in other words, you can only remove them either by agreement, or by legislation, and that would be challengeable."

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