Dáil debates

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions

 

12:25 pm

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Dublin West, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

-----but it is well deserved and they work very hard for it. They are very professional. It is, however, less than the figure for gardaí, for whom the average salary is about €70,000. We have a real difficulty with the current pay claim and need to be honest and upfront with the country about it. The claim is for a 12% increase in pay, parity with physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech and language therapists. It would cost about €300 million to deliver. Understandably, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech and language therapists would not accept this and there would be a series of knock-on claims across the public service. We estimate that they could cost €600 million or €900 million and it would not be once off but recurring every year. Over the course of four or five years the cost to the taxpayer could be €4 billion or €5 billion and we just do not have that kind of money.

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