In a view to cutting back on the €1.4 Billion the Irish Government spends on allowances to public sector employees, the minister for Public Sector Reform Brendan Howlin has achieved a total saving of €3.5 million. To put another way, of 1100 allowances, he has manged to get rid of 1. To put that in context, the minister from the Labour party is himself a former teacher (public sector worker) and the party of course benefits massively from public sector union donations and it’s not in their interest to touch the unions.

Hear are some of the better allowances

Chester Beatty Library Box making Allowance: The business case for retaining the allowance said it is necessary for the continuing “housing and conservation” of collections in the library in special boxes. Staff members receive up to €20 for each box.

National Museum of Ireland camera allowance: For the operation of all security equipment in the camera room on a 24 hour basis in the museum on Kildare Street. It was argued that the duties attached to this allowance do not form part of the core duties for science and arts attendants. No amount was given.

National Museum of Ireland lock up allowance: Staff members receive this allowance for the daily lock up of the Kildare Street site and security checks. It was argued that the duties do not form part of the core duties for the majority of science and arts attendants. No amount was given.

Inland fisheries eating on site allowance: This is described as compensation for lunch breaks taken away from the “designated base”. In return for this allowance, the Government receives the agreement of operatives to take their lunch break away from the base. The department is working on revising their rotas and are hoping to eliminate the payment. No amount was given.

Civil service footwear allowance: This agreement was made in 1990 when staff agreed to wear black or navy shoes along with their uniform. The cost of this allowance is €65. Only a relatively small number of staff qualify for it.

Bus allowance for CSO staff: Given to six full-time tourism enumerators at Dublin Airport with a daily rate calculated at €4.40. The Central Statistics Office said the case was “hard to justify” as it paid the Dublin Airport Authority for parking facilities at the airport. But ceasing the allowance “might cause some Labour Relations issues” and “affect the level of co-operation from enumerators.”

Delivery and footwear at chief state solictor’s office: A “special” allowance of €47.92 weekly is paid to service officers for the delivery of post before 9.15am, so that staff have received it before going to court. Four service officers also receive a €65 annual footwear allowances to attend the post office and assist in moving legal files in and at court.

Tourism Ireland directors travel allowance: The perk entitles the three staff who currently receive it to claim €4,952. As a result of the Financial Emergency legislation of January 2010 this was reduced to €4,556.

Tourism Ireland unsocial hours allowance: This is a form of overtime payment. It is most usually claimed by staff for weekend work at events.

Civil Service forklift allowance: An allowance for driving a forklift. “This duty is necessary. Very few officers across the civil service are in receipt of this,” the argument for its retention states. No amount is given.

Civil Service paperkeeper allowance: When the Paperkeeper grade was abolished, staff who worked alongside the former Paperkeeper “were unhappy about not getting the increased pay”. The duties of the former Paperkeeper included “the control of supplies and stationery”. No amount was given.

Chief state solicitor’s allowances: €5,617.16 is paid annually to a member of the office. It was argued it represents good value for money as the Office provides a legal service to the AG and Government which requires contact with staff outside normal working hours.

Some of the other hilarious allowances are

Source: Irish Independent, Department Of Public Expenditure and Reform

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