Thursday, 7 February 2019
Nurses and Midwives Industrial Action: Statements
As I was saying in response to Deputy Mattie McGrath, there is €17 billion of taxpayers' money deservedly going into the provision of services that are available in the health service and into trying to improve them, of which at least one quarter goes into the wages of those who provide care in our country.
The Deputy also asked if we respect the nurses and the contribution they make. Of course, we do. It is insulting to suggest otherwise on the part of any member of the Government. The challenge we face, which Deputy Mattie McGrath has no interest in acknowledging, is there are many other public servants whose work we also respect - over 290,000 of them. If we make any one movement in this wage agreement for one group, it has immediate consequences for every other group, which Deputy Mattie McGrath has no interest in acknowledging, although I know he understands it.