The Agreement is supporting a significant and sustainable reduction in payroll costs in the public service, driven primarily by a sustained reduction in public service staff numbers. As of March 2012, there were 28,000 fewer public servants than at the peak in 2008.

By the end 2012 the Exchequer pay bill will have been reduced from a peak of €17.5bn (gross) in 2009 to €14.4bn (net of the ‘Pension Related Deduction’) – a reduction of €3.1bn or 17.7%.

More than €800m in sustainable pay bill savings have been achieved over the first two years of the Agreement.

The Agreement is also supporting the implementation of measures aimed at reduceing operating costs and generating greater administrative efficiencies.

Approximately €680m in such non-pay or efficiency related savings have been reported over the first two years of the Agreement. Some key examples include:

  • a reduction of 2,000 responsibility posts in the education sector saving €10m annually
  • local authorities have reported €111.8m in non-pay savings over the first two years of the Agreement in areas like shared services; more effective procurement; new online services and improved productivity and performance
  • the new Single National Procurement Operating Model in the HSE delivered €82.6m in savings for the period January 2011 to February 2012
  • savings relating to the management and rationalization of the OPW’s property portfolio have been achieved in the order of €23.75m.

Comprehensive information on government expenditure and public service numbers can be accessed from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform’s Databank Service.