Taoiseach: Pay cuts 'absolutely fair'; Frontline group call them 'grossly unfair'

Cutting the public sector pay bill by a billion euro is absolutely fair, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said.

As opposition to the deal intensifies with at least nine unions or associations refusing support, Mr Kenny said securing agreement would be another big step to economic recovery.

“In the context of the additional €3bn in spending cuts required by 2015, this contribution from payroll is absolutely fair,” he said.

“Implementing these savings by agreement with public service staff would be another big step on the road to economic recovery, and would send out a signal to the world that the Irish people are determined to fix our economic problems and restore the country to prosperity and full employment.”

The Taoiseach urged support at a conference of chief executives in Dublin organised by the business lobby group Ibec.

Mr Kenny said the €1bn pay cuts are fair as the public sector wage bill accounts for 35% of total public spending.

He made his call as the Civil and Public Service Union, the largest union in the public sector, the Teachers’ Union of Ireland and the Irish Federation of University Teachers became the latest to voice opposition.

Senior figures in Impact, one of the lead negotiating unions in the pay talks, meet later today to discuss their response to the deal.

Elsewhere, a group set up to represent angered gardaí, nurses, paramedics and firefighters, among others working in frontline services, meets today in Croke Park to discuss a strategy to fight the pay deal.

The 24/7 Frontline Services Alliance claimed the agreement is “grossly unfair, and inequitable, and seek to take money from low and middle income public servants who have no more to give”.

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