Tuesday 25 October 2016

Plan to cut age profile of civil service, reveals Brendan Howlin

Brendan Howlin has welcomed an agreement on pay for public servants
Brendan Howlin has welcomed an agreement on pay for public servants

PUBLIC Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin has said there needs to be a “lower age profile” in the civil service.

His comments came after it emerged the average worker will be aged 50 by 2020.

Mr Howlin yesterday said a “refreshing” of the civil service would be done through a greater recruitment of graduates.

The Herald revealed on Monday that the average age of civil servants now stands at 47.9 years, compared to 43.2 years in 2007. If this trend continues, the average age will be 50 in less than five years’ time.

Speaking yesterday, Mr Howlin said the unwinding of the recruitment embargo was essential in bringing younger people into the civil service.

He also addressed public and political disquiet surrounding pension top-ups for former senior politicians.

Mr Howlin said he did not have the mechanisms available to him to block the pension top-ups that will be introduced as a result of the introduction of the Lansdowne Road Agreement.

Separately, Mr Howlin said banks will continue to be pressured to slash variable mortgage rates.

He was responding to a European Commission report which appeared to back the banks’ tough stance on the issue. “There is a very clear view across Government that, for those on variable interest rates, the variable interest rates are too high,” Mr Howlin said.

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