Cyprus was just for starters – Ireland could provide the main course

Union rejection of €1bn in spending cuts means the Irish government find itself forced to slash public sector pay by 7%

Cyprus was just an hors d’oeuvre. Portugal is readying itself for a convulsive moment when the government attempts to bypass a constitutional court ruling that bans many of its most caustic austerity measures. The situation worsens daily in Greece. And then there is Ireland.

A plan to slash €1bn (£860m) from the public service pay bill over three years has just been rejected by unions, plunging the Fine Gael/Labour government into crisis. The deal was supposed to be sealed by July, but with further negotiations and ballots necessary to get the cuts plan back on track, and with union opposition hardening, the government may be forced to carry out a threatened 7% across-the-board cut in pay.

The €1bn in savings is part of the Irish government’s deal with Brussels and the IMF and must be implemented if the government is to comply with rules that govern how much it receives in bailout funds.

Full article: Cyprus was just for starters – Ireland could provide the main course (The Guardian)

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