FG wants to cut public sector jobs and number of TDs

Cutting 30,000 public sector jobs and slashing the number of politicians by a third are among a raft of proposals unveiled today to shake-up government.

Fine Gael also vowed to cap public pay at €200,000 as well as scrap 145 State bodies including the Health Service Executive and training and employment authority Fas.

Party leader Enda Kenny said five billion euro would be saved through the plan.

“The public sector has a key role to play in rebuilding Ireland,” Mr Kenny said.

“The current crisis represents an opportunity to release the full potential of all who serve the public and a chance to say, ”Never again“, to the behaviour of the past that has cast such a shadow on our future.”

Fine Gael’s ’Reinventing Government’ document sets out 100 changes the party would make to government and public service if elected to government.

The party said one billion euro in savings raised would mean a billion less in tax hikes and cuts to services.

Key proposals include:

:: Abolishing over 145 state bodies as well as training agency Fas and the Health Service Executive.

:: Cutting 30,000 public service jobs through a voluntary redundancy scheme.

:: Seeking to abolish the Seanad and reduce the number of TDs from 166 to 146.

:: Either selling or streamlining semi-state companies such as the ESB.

:: Merge ESB Networks and Eirgrid.

:: Introducing a Whsitleblowers Act to protect public servants that expose maladministration by Ministers or others.

:: Halving the size of the Department of An Taoiseach, transforming it into a Cabinet Office.

:: Introducing a Government car pool service for current and former state officials.

Richard Bruton, Fine Gael’s enterprise spokesman, said thousands of public servants were trapped in a system that is failing them.

“Fine Gael has a plan to make a step change in the way our public services are run that will reward effort and ingenuity and penalise waste and inefficiency,” Mr Bruton said.

“Ministers and senior civil servants will evaluate projects and take responsibility for outcomes while managers will be freed up to innovate and motivate their colleagues to serve the needs of the public.”

Meanwhile the Labour Party will debate a Dáil private members motion this week dealing with 29 reforms of public life.

They include revamping cabinet confidentiality, freedom of information, whistleblowers legislation, political contributions and electoral spending limits.

Brendan Howlin, spokesman on constitutional matters and law reform, said there was an urgent need for government reform.

“The sudden and calamitous change in our national economic fortunes over the past three years, coupled with revelations of waste of public money and resources, has undermined public confidence – not alone in the present Government but also in the structures of government,” Mr Howlin said.

“We have to stop lurching like this, from one disaster to the next.”

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