The statement by the Taoiseach can be read here.
The plan is quite remarkable in specifying substantial expenditure cuts, including the de facto reduction in the take-home pay of public sector workers via the pension levy. It was also welcome to see the extension of a reduction in remuneration levels to those providing professional services to the government.
Accordingly, this plan represents a welcome initial step in fiscal adjustment. As indicated in the Taoiseach’s speech, the fact that the unions could not agree to the plan does not mean that the social partnership approach has failed (the negotiation process delivered a ‘near endorsement’ of the plan and achieved a common consensus regarding the scale of the problem). Indeed, now that the pay element has been dealt with, it is plausible that social partnership talks could resume quite quickly regarding other elements in the overall strategy.
Internationally, this plan should help to dampen concerns about the state of the public finances.