More public servants on low and middle incomes

5th October 2012

The proportion of public servants on higher pay has fallen, with larger proportions now on low or middle incomes following staff reductions over the last 12 months.

In response to a Dáil question by Joanna Tuffy TD last month, Minister of Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin released new figures that show a changing pattern in public sector pay and numbers.

The public sector workforce now stands at 292,000 ‘whole-time equivalents.’ The figures show that:

  • The percentage earning less than €60,000 has increased from 75% in December 2011 to 82% after March 1st 2012
  • The percentage earning less than €50,000 has increased from 60% to 68%
  • The percentage earning less than €40,000 has increased from 38% to 45%.

Expressed as a percentage of the December 2011 employment figure, the single largest proportional decrease in employment was in the €80-90,000 salary band (-42%). In actual numbers, the single biggest reduction was in the €70-80,000 band (-8,620). The lowest employment reductions proportionally were in the €0-20,000k (-5.6%) and €50-60,000 (-8.07%) bands.

The percentage of public servants earning over €100,000 is now slightly below 2%. It was slightly above this in December 2011, but has been a 14.5% reduction in employment in this income band since.

The figures also reveal that the average public sector salary has reduced from approximately €60,000 a year in 2008 to €54,000 in 2012, inclusive of the impact of the pension levy.