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Irish Parliament buildings

How to cut $6 billion off the Irish deficit by reducing public sector wages

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Irish Parliament buildings

The Sunday Tribune newspaper has created a novel way to cut Ireland's booming deficit by saving $6 billion (€4.3billion) by cutting back on government waste and inefficiency. A dramatic cut in wages of the judiciary, senior pubic servants and lowering the number of TDs would result in dramatic savings alone.

Read on to discover the potential savings.

1. Cut number of TDs to 100 and cap pay at $111,000 (€80,000)

Last year the cost of paying 166 TDs including secretarial assistance, travel expenses and additional allowances cost  $62.4m (€44.7m). Cutting 66 TDs would instantly save $24.8m (€17.8m).

The average basic salary for an Irish TD was $150, 749 (€107,831) in 2009. Capping the remaining 100 TDs salaries at  $112,000  (€80,000) would generate $3.9m (€2.8m) alone.

Total savings $20.6m (€20.6m)

2. Abolish the Seanad

The Irish government is split into two houses, the Seanad and the Dail. The Seanad is the upper house of the parliament and it's main function is in relation to legislation in Ireland. However all decisions made by the house can be overruled by the Dail. Which many argue negates it's necessity.

In 2009 salaries including allowances and travel expenses amounted to $13.1 (€9.4m).

Total savings $13.1 (€9.4m).

3. Cut judges salaries by $140,000 (€100,000)

In Ireland there are 145 Supreme, High, Circuit and District Court judges whose salaries totaled $36.6 m (€27.6m) in 2009. Annual pay ranges from $201,000 (€143,800) for a District Court judge to $426,536 (€304,974) for the Chief Justice. In comparison Chief Justice John Roberts of the United States Supreme Court is payed $217,400 annually.

Reducing all judges' pay by $139,860 (€100,000) could save $18.3 (€13.1m).

Totals savings $18.3 (€13.1m).

4. Cut salaries of semi-state bosses to $210,000 (€150,000)

Ireland is home to 28 commercial semi-state bodies including the 10 which operate our ports. Each body is headed by a chief executive whose salary is determined by the state. Brian Lenihan, Ireland's Finance Minister is currently reviewing the salaries of state bosses.

The most well paid semi-state boss is the Electricity Supply Board's Padraig McManus who earned a package of over $1million (€750,000) last year for completing his seven-year contract as CEO. By slicing the overall wage packets of semi-state bosses the state could save $4m (€2.9m).

Total savings $4m (€2.9m)

5. Abolish private secretaries, drivers, advisers and helpers attached to ministerial and constituency offices of Ministers and junior ministers

Total savings $22m (€16m)

6. Abolish all quangos

The estimated cost of the 95 agencies  for 2010 alone is $7, 2367m (€5,174.3m). The larger spending agencies are responsible for distributing grants to fund colleges and universities etc, so they would still require funding if all agencies were abolished. However after extracting all the funding/grants from the cost of agencies the Government would still stand to save $1.2billion (€926.5m) from abolishing quangos.

Total savings $1.2billion (€926.5m)

7. Slash the salaries of all secretaries-general to $209,000 (€150,000)

There are currently 18 secretaries-general or heads of department. Salaries range from $263, 831 (€188,640) to the overall head who earns $307,000 (€220,000). If all salaries were capped at $209,000 (€150,000) there could be an annual saving of  greater than $1m ($0.75m)

Total savings $1m ($0.75m)

8. Cut senior public servant salaries to $139,000 (€100,000)

There are currently 277,500 public servants in Ireland. Over 11,000 of these are paid in excess of $139,000 (€100,000). Capping all public servants' salaries could generate savings of  almost $700m (€488.4m).

Total savings $683m (€488.4m).

9. Cut average public sector wage to average wage of all workers

According to the Central Statistics Office latest statistics the average weekly earnings for an Irish worker is $965.70 (€690.48) in comparison to $1265.43 (€904.79) for public sector workers. Cutting the public sector pay bill by reducing average earnings of civil servants would equate to savings of over $3.5 billion (€2.521bn).

Total savings $3.5 billion (€2.521bn)

10. Cut public service pension bill by 10 percent

The public service pension bill for this year stands at $3bn (€2.2bn). Cutting the current expenditure by a mere 10 percent will could save the Government $307m (€220m).

Total savings $307m (€220m)

11. Abolish pensions to to all former Presidents, Judges and Ministers

Last years total pensions paid to former presidents, taoisigh, judges and ministers was $15.2 (€11.1m).  Many of these people are still working in lucrative positions while they earn sizable salaries as well as their generous pensions from the state.

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