Government releases outcome of review of allowances

The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform announced the outcome of its review of allowances this afternoon. The review sets out a number of allowances that will be discontinued for new entrants, promoted staff, and staff newly assigned to the affected duties. The only allowances to be withdrawn from serving staff are those paid to staff who travel overseas to represent Ireland at international meetings.

The review lists allowances under three headings:

  1. Allowances to be abolished for new beneficiaries (new entrants, promoted staff, and staff newly assigned to the relevant duty)
  2. Allowances to be approved for new beneficiaries, but which will be subject to review and/or moderation
  3. Allowances to be approved for new beneficiaries (as well as existing staff).

Some of the most costly allowances to be abolished for new beneficiaries include teachers’ qualification allowances and the Garda rent allowance. The decision on The Garda rent allowance will also have implications for prison officers and fire fighters.

A large number of allowances fall into the second category. The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) says these will be “reviewed and amended as appropriate by their parent department, following due consultation and engagement with the respective staff representative bodies, over the course of the next year.” This will be the first time that unions have been involved in the process, which has so far been solely a management review coordinated by the DPER.

IMPACT has told the department that it will trigger the Croke Park third party adjudication process if it believes there is a case against a management decision to discontinue any allowance. The union will now study the list of allowances earmarked for immediate abolition (for new beneficiaries) to see which, if any, fall into this category.

The Croke Park procedures are time-limited and, ultimately, binding on both sides.

Since 31stJanuary 2012, allowances have been frozen for new entrants, promoted staff, and staff newly appointed to relevant duties. Allowances that have now been approved for new beneficiaries will be backdated for any staff concerned.

Read the DPER Outcome of the Review of Public Service Allowances.

Read the DPER FAQ document.

Read the Business Cases put forward for allowances by public service departments and agencies.