Spending Review Announced

A memorandum on the proposed Comprehensive Spending Review is to be brought before the Cabinet.

The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin, announced that work has already commenced on drafting the Review, which would take a fresh look at how services are delivered.

Mr Howlin said that the reform agenda for the public service was crucial to economic recovery and that Ireland could not continue to borrow and spend at the same rate.

However, he said that practices, which left public servants feeling 'bruised and battered', had developed over time and were not defendable.

Asked for his view on outsourcing services to the private sector, Mr Howlin said the review would look at how services could best be delivered on a case-by-case basis and he would have to consult his Cabinet colleagues before he could reveal further details of future reform plans.

He reiterated the Government's determination to stick to the demanding target of reducing the deficit to 3% by 2015.

He said that his plans would fit in well with the Croke Park Agreement, which he described as extremely valuable and successful in what it had achieved to date in terms of reductions in numbers and industrial peace.


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