Why does nobody disagree with the Fiscal Council's report?

Purple

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If, for example, there are 2000 people involved in payroll and associated HR functions and that number can be reduced to 1000 the surplus 1000 staff cannot be redeployed as classroom assistants or to homecare for the elderly.
 

NoRegretsCoyote

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If, for example, there are 2000 people involved in payroll and associated HR functions and that number can be reduced to 1000 the surplus 1000 staff cannot be redeployed as classroom assistants or to homecare for the elderly.
Of course, because that is not in their terms of employment.

It would be very difficult to do this in a private sector organisation either.

I wouldn't work for an organisation that reserved the right to deploy me as a refuse collector tomorrow.
 

Purple

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Of course, because that is not in their terms of employment.

It would be very difficult to do this in a private sector organisation either.

I wouldn't work for an organisation that reserved the right to deploy me as a refuse collector tomorrow.
I agree. So there needs to be headcount reductions in some areas and new hires in others. That, of course, won't happen.
 

Purple

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Of course, but they may be deployed elsewhere as administrative support to many other schemes or services that are understaffed.
Do you really think there is a net shortage of administration staff in the State sector?
I include those directly employed by the State and those employed in organisations which are funded by the State.
 

NoRegretsCoyote

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I agree. So there needs to be headcount reductions in some areas and new hires in others. That, of course, won't happen.
People are hired all the time in the public service. Sometimes there are redundancy schemes too.

Staff are also re-deployed all the time in response to business needs, both in terms of location and job role.


I don't think you know very much about the public service at all. I'm out.
 

Purple

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People are hired all the time in the public service. Sometimes there are redundancy schemes too.

Staff are also re-deployed all the time in response to business needs, both in terms of location and job role.


I don't think you know very much about the public service at all. I'm out.
So those excess staff in Irish Water are gone, yes?
No, of course not. They are still there at a cost of about €100 million a year in costs to the Irish people
.
I don't think you know very much about the public service at all.
 

Purple

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Anyway, back on topic.
Nobody disagrees with the Fiscal Council's report but everyone knows that there is nothing the government can do about the gross waste of money in the State sector, the parish pump politicians and electorate, or the vested interest groups which actually hold the levers of power in the country.
We just nod along and admire the Emperor's new clothes.
 
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WolfeTone

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Do you really think there is a net shortage of administration staff in the State sector?
I include those directly employed by the State and those employed in organisations which are funded by the State.
I never said there was a shortage. I suggested that somewhere between 10-15% public sector staff are deployed inefficiently. This would include some administrative staff.
 

WolfeTone

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Nobody disagrees with the Fiscal Council's report
Because nobody can plausibly disagree with the concept that financial prudence, living within budgetary constraints is not sound responsible advice.
I think we can take that it as a given.
The problems arise when we look beyond the highly constrained and the limited remit of the FAC, which is what every government faces.

but everyone knows that there is nothing the government can do about the gross waste of money in the State sector
Starting with the €1m budget allocated to an advisory council that is limited in its remit as to what it can advise on, which on the face of it is nothing more than offering sound prudent financial advice that anyone can already take as a given.
 

Purple

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Because nobody can plausibly disagree with the concept that financial prudence, living within budgetary constraints is not sound responsible advice.
I think we can take that it as a given.
The problems arise when we look beyond the highly constrained and the limited remit of the FAC, which is what every government faces.
If it was a given then the conversation when someone or something needs/wants more money would be where else is that money going to be cut from.
Take the existing pay claim from the non-medical people working in hospitals. If they want an increase there should be a corresponding cut elsewhere in the health service. That could mean fewer people doing more work but getting paid more or cats elsewhere.


Starting with the €1m budget allocated to an advisory council that is limited in its remit as to what it can advise on, which on the face of it is nothing more than offering sound prudent financial advice that anyone can already take as a given.
As a voice against the left wing populism of RTE and the Trade Union backed establishment it is money well spent.
 
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WolfeTone

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If it was a given then the conversation when someone or something needs/wants more money would be where else is that money going to be cut from

Or where else could could that money be raised from in tax increases.

As a voice against the left wing populism of RTE and the Trade Union backed establishment it is money well spent.
You think it is money well spent, I think it is a waste of money - particularly as it now appears to be money spent "as a voice against left-wing populism..." when we all know that nobody disagrees with the Fiscal Councils report.
So it is money spent to voice against something that doesn't exist, ie its a waste.
 

Sophrosyne

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Just to set out issues faced by any Irish government.

We have a small population and a small economy.

We cannot benefit from the economies of scale in public services that countries with larger populations and economies enjoy.

We are situated on the periphery.

Sometimes people do not understand scalability, i.e., what works for small or micro firms will not necessarily work for large corporations, multinationals or government departments. This often leads to persistently naïve incorrect assumptions of inefficiencies.

For instance, a canoe made from fibre glass or aluminium is fine. Problems start when people cannot understand why a large ocean liner cannot be built from the same fibre glass or aluminium.

It is often self-evident that people confuse accountancy - essentially analyzing income and expenses; with economics - essentially concerned with production, consumption, and transfer of resources.

Our private sector, mostly composed of micro and small firms, when compared to large firms and multi-nationals cannot compete and provide sufficient employment or sufficiently high pay to assist our tax intake and our population is too small to buy the goods or use the services that Irish firms offer

That is our dilemma.
 
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Purple

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Just to set out issues faced by any Irish government.

We have a small population and a small economy.

We cannot benefit from the economies of scale in public services that countries with larger populations and economies enjoy.
What economies of scale in the provision of public services do other countries enjoy that we cannot enjoy?


We are situated on the periphery.
That should not increase the cost of the provision of public services. It can increase the cost of business but we generally get over that.


Sometimes people do not understand scalability, i.e., what works for small or micro firms will not necessarily work for large corporations, multinationals or government departments. This often leads to persistently naïve incorrect assumptions of inefficiencies.
I agree, I’ve made that point plenty of times on this site. That doesn’t justify inefficiency where it exists nor should it be used as a lazy excuse for the obvious waste and duplication of processes within large public sector organisations.

For instance, a canoe made from fibre glass or aluminium is fine. Problems start when people cannot understand why a large ocean liner cannot be built from the same fibre glass or aluminium.
That’s a very strange metaphor. Ask yourself which would cost more; a State owned company building the ocean liner or a Privately owned company building an ocean liner.

It is often self-evident that people confuse accountancy - essentially analyzing income and expenses; with economics - essentially concerned with production, consumption, and transfer of resources.
Agreed. It is also self evident that some people hide behind byzantine organisational structures and pretend that they are necessary rather than admitting that they are just badly structures organisations run by people without the skills, mindset or ability to fix them.

Our private sector, mostly composed of micro and small firms, when compared to large firms and multi-nationals cannot compete and provide sufficient employment or sufficiently high pay to assist our tax intake and our population is too small to buy the goods or use the services that Irish firms offer
We have a small open economy and, even within that SME sector, have very high levels of exports. Wealth is created through internationally traded goods and services. It is a fallacy to suggest that we need to steal taxes from other countries in order to provide the services which the public need and more than pay for.


The myopic self justification from some in the State sector for shoddy structures resulting in sub-par services is shocking. The reason people needlessly die on trolleys and children with special needs don’t get the help they deserve and need is the fault of the people who work in the HSE and nobody else. They get more than enough money but choose to waste it through their own inaction and unwillingness to fix their own organisation. The same applies to many other areas of State service provision.



The answer cannot be to just keep throwing borrowed money at the problem or increasing taxes on labour even higher in the country with the most progressive taxation system in the world.

That is our dilemma.
 
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Sophrosyne

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That’s a very strange metaphor. Ask yourself which would cost more; a State owned company building the ocean liner or a Privately owned company building an ocean liner.
My analogy was not particularly about public v private sector but rather that structures and systems that work for small enterprises do not work for large enterprises.


We have a small open economy and, even within that SME sector, have very high levels of exports. Wealth is created through internationally traded goods and services. It is a fallacy to suggest that we need to steal taxes from other countries in order to provide the services which the public need and more than pay for.
I agree that because our economy is small, exports are vital for economic growth.

According to CSO statistics for 2017, the latest published:

SMEs, which composed 96% of enterprises had 30% of the total value of exports.

Large enterprises, which composed 3% of enterprises had 68% of the total value of exports.

See table below.

Note: The SMEs figures are the combined figures, with some rounding, for micro, small and medium enterprises.

Table 2.1 Exports by enterprise size 2017
€million
Enterprise size
Value
% of total
Number of enterprises
% of total
Micro
7,506​
6​
5,081​
59​
Small
5,284​
4​
2,384​
28​
Medium
23,168​
19​
835​
10​
SMEs
35,957
30
8,300
96
Large
82,964​
68​
289​
3​
Unknown
2,838​
2​
25​
0​
Total
121,759
100
8,614
100
Micro (0-9 employees), Small (10-49 employees), Medium (50-249 employees), Large (over 250 employees).

We can see that the majority of exporting enterprises (59%) are micro, but they only account for 6% of the value of exports.

Large enterprises are mostly foreign owned.
 
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Purple

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My analogy was not particularly about public v private sector but rather that structures and systems that work for small enterprises do not work for large enterprises.
We are especially bad, by any standard. According to this report in 2014 we spent the second highest amount on healthcare per capita in the OECD with the worst outcomes. That despite having one of the youngest populations. Hiding behind "but we are a large organisation, you just don't understand" is unacceptable.

I agree that because our economy is small, exports are vital for economic growth.

According to CSO statistics for 2017, the latest published:

SMEs, which composed 96% of enterprises had 30% of the total value of exports.

Large enterprises, which composed 3% of enterprises had 68% of the total value of exports.

See table below.

Note: The SMEs figures are the combined figures, with some rounding, for micro, small and medium enterprises.

Table 2.1 Exports by enterprise size 2017
€million
Enterprise size
Value% of totalNumber of enterprises% of total
Micro
7,50665,08159​
Small
5,28442,38428​
Medium
23,1681983510​
SMEs
35,957308,30096
Large
82,964682893​
Unknown
2,8382250​
Total
121,7591008,614100
Micro (0-9 employees), Small (10-49 employees), Medium (50-249 employees), Large (over 250 employees).
We can see that the majority of exporting enterprises (59%) are micro, but they only account for 6% of the value of exports.

Large enterprises are mostly foreign owned.
That tells us that our Public Service funding model is built on stealing tax revenue from other countries, many of them far poorer than us. It also shows how tenuous and fragile out tax base is (Corporation Tax is the new bubble).
 

NoRegretsCoyote

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We are especially bad, by any standard. According to this report in 2014 we spent the second highest amount on healthcare per capita in the OECD with the worst outcomes. That despite having one of the youngest populations. Hiding behind "but we are a large organisation, you just don't understand" is unacceptable.
Ireland does not have the worst health outcomes in the OECD. Look at the chart in the article.

 

Leo

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That chart only shows life expectancy and mortality from heart disease, outcomes of interaction with health services goes further than that.
 

Protocol

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We really should be running a 3-5bn annual fiscal surplus, given GDP and employment levels / growth rates.

Yet no politician calls for this, do they?
 
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