23/01/2009

Social Partners To Meet Government On Talks

Intensive talks are to get underway between the Government and their 'social partners' as plans to further cut public spending go under the magnifying glass.

The Cabinet have established a target of a €2 billion spending reduction for this year following two days of intensive analysis of Ireland's budget.

Social partners, such as employers groups are to be briefed on the details by Government officials to see if a consensus can be reached.

Trade unions have so far rejected the concept of pay cuts, and some unions have said they will refuse to take part in any process in which pay cuts in any form are on the agenda.

Speaking this morning, David Begg, general secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (Ictu), said unions had presented a "far-ranging" paper to Government that took a longer-term, strategic and holistic look at the economy.

The Irish Business and Employers Confederation will be in first, followed by the farmers, the voluntary groups, and finally the unions late this afternoon.

(DW/BMcC)

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