Average public sector pay 40% higher than private sector.
At the release of the CSO Earnings & Labour costs figures today (25th August), ISME, the Irish Small & Medium Enterprises Association, called for pay restraint across the economy to help regain our competitiveness in both home and export markets. The Association warned that the effect of sterling devaluation was threatening the tight margins of many SMEs, who were also battling on the cost increases being foisted on them.
The CSO figures on earnings and labour costs shows an average increase of 0.5% in the year to June 2016, with the average wage standing at €704 per week. The pay gap between Public and Private wages now stands at 40%.
Average weekly Earnings. Hourly Cost.
Private sector €644.98 €23.58
Public sector €905.97 €31.25
Total €703.83 €25.32
Commenting on the figures ISME CEO, Mark Fielding said “There must be a national effort to protect our jobs under threat from the sterling devaluation. All business costs must be examined and curtailed. SME businesses are price takers and depend on government intervention when there is market failure. Insurance and bank interest and charges are definitely in that category and government must act to stop their gouging of small business”.
“The incessant calls from the trades unions for ‘more money’ must be treated with caution. SMEs are dealing responsibly with their employees and, when feasible, increases are being paid, as seen in the CSO figures today. The ludicrous demands for 50% plus increases must be met with reasoned economic arguments.”
The Association called on Government to:
• Address insurance, bank interest, and exorbitant fees of the monopolistic legal profession.
• Ensure that all state imposed business costs are benchmarked internationally.
• Post Brexit ensure that SMEs are not hampered by labour, tax or regulatory increases, at least while exchange rate difficulties persist.
“Business cost reduction and pay restraint must be a priority for both employers and Government during the uncertain post-Brexit period”, concluded Fielding.