IMF praises Croke Park agreement (again)

The latest report of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) last consultation mission to Ireland has again praised the Croke Park agreement’s delivery of savings and its protection of public services.

The report states that “The Croke Park Agreement has facilitated personnel reductions and efficiency savings, and has helped maintain the industrial peace needed to achieve broader reform goals.” The IMF consultation is part of the organisation’s ongoing review of Ireland’s economic progress since the bailout programme commenced in 2010.

This follows the review by the EU/ECB/IMF troika, which concluded last week, which prompted the IMF’s Director of External Relations Gerry Rice to saythat the agreement “has delivered the budgeted wage bill savings and the Irish authorities continue to manage public-sector wages within the agreement.”

The IMF report also states that continued monitoring of the agreement, in terms of the “adequacy of savings in the net pay and pensions bill, and of public service provision”, is necessary. It also states that “deeper reforms in health and higher education are needed to identify service priorities and deliver them efficiently.”

The comments are reported widely in today’s media coverage of the IMF report. The Irish Independent quotes IMF mission chief for Ireland Craig Beaumont from yesterday’s press conference, “Beaumont said the Croke Park Agreement, a pact between the Government and public sector workers aimed at protecting jobs while scaling back resources, had made significant savings…It has been done in a way which has enabled public services to be protected and for gains to be achieved,” Mr Beaumont said.”

You can read the full IMF report HERE.