Funding for the public sector faces a 5% cut in real terms by 2025, which will result in a decline in services, SIPTU Deputy General Secretary, John King, told the SIPTU Health Division Biennial Delegate Conference in Waterford today (Wednesday, 26th October).
Addressing more than 200 delegates, King said: “The figures would indicate that nominal expenditure on public services will increase by 6% between 2022 to 2025. However, when inflation is factored in, spending falls by 3%, and when population growth is also factored in, spending actually falls by 5%.
“These outcomes are about the implementation of political choices. The effect is not good for public servants and it is not good for wider society. They will lead to poorer services for the less well-off and the marginalised in key areas of public service provision.”
King added: “When we compare Budget 2023 spending on public services to our European Union peer group we find another key result, that is that Ireland is at the bottom of the table when it comes to public service spending. We need to significantly increase our public spending to achieve the quality of service which the citizens in our EU peer group enjoys.”
King also highlighted the failure of the Government to adequately fund organisations that provide services on behalf of the HSE but are not formally part of the public sector.
He said: “The denial of funding for these community and Section 39 organisations for pay increases for their staff, who provide essential public services to our most vulnerable and marginalised citizens and communities, will have profound negative consequences for our society.”
He added: “Last week in the Dáil, in response to a motion submitted by the Labour Party, two senior government Ministers acknowledged that these workers not having a pay rise for 14 years is not acceptable, particularly in light of the cost-of-living crisis that all workers are suffering.
“These workers must not be left out of the ‘whole of government’ response to this inflationary crisis, and I am calling on those Ministers to act now on their words and put in the necessary process to address this issue once and for all.”
The SIPTU Health Division Biennial Delegate Conference in the Tower Hotel, The Mall, Waterford City concludes this evening.