Memo to BBC: The NI Executive voted these measures through

Why are the BBC busying themselves counting the number of MLAs turning up for work today?  Don’t they know the Northern Ireland Executive voted in favour of the blanket increase of 3.2 per cent in public-sector pension contributions? Admittedly they did so behind closed doors, and didn’t tell anyone at the time. [Some parties don’t seem to remember either – Ed]  Some parties have still to tell the public how their ministers voted at the time… Pete Baker

Republic’s base for public sector pay and welfare cuts much higher than the north’s

Cuts in pay and welfare start in the Republic start from a much higher base than in Northern Ireland, according to headline comparisons made by Gerry Moriarty in the Irish Times. This is a reporting mission I’ve been urging for months. Well done Gerry.  The job is by no means complete and I hope it will prompt wider analysis and debate. Remember that Irish public sector pay and benefits was higher a year ago. The taoiseach’s salary was about 20% up on …

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After the storm

The Croke Park deal should ensure that Irish public sector workers are spared any further pay cuts. Perhaps worth reflecting, after a painful couple of years, that according to the OECD, Irish state workers are still among the best rewarded in the world. The Sunday Business Post report on a survey by Forfas and the National Competitiveness Council. The figures for 2010 show that Irish nurses are paid the fourth-highest average salary ($67,000) in the OECD. The starting salary for …

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