December 14th: Unite today condemned what it termed “selective leaking of misleading data” from the Government’s submission to the Public Service Pay Commission, which the union said “could undermine confidence in the integrity of PSPC process”.
Commenting, Unite Regional Coordinating Officer Richie Browne was particularly scathing about the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform’s use of data indicating that Irish public sector pay and pensions are higher than elsewhere in the EU:
“Unite is disappointed that DPER has chosen to selectively leak misleading data from its submission to the media, rather than engaging in debate on the basis of facts.
“The data selectively leaked to the media compares apples and oranges, and comes up with lemons.
“For example, the reason Irish public sector pay and pensions make up a higher proportion of public expenditure in Ireland than in other EU countries is because the overall level of public expenditure is so low. Public investment is one of the lowest in the EU. Spending on persons with disabilities, students and elderly is also much lower. In fact, we’d have to increase investment in our economic and social infrastructure by over €10 billion just to reach the average of our European peer group.
“And the reason there is a gap between public and private wages is not because public wages are high – but because we have an ongoing low pay crisis in the private sector.
“The selective and misleading leaks from the DPER submission could undermine confidence in the integrity of the Public Service Pay Commission process. The submission from the ICTU Public Services Committee is freely available on the Congress website, and Unite would urge DPER to be similarly transparent”, Mr Browne warned.