Ireland squares up for pay row

THEIrish government is determined to cut €1.3bn (£1.2bn) off the public sector pay bill, it said yesterday, as fresh revenue data confirmed the need for major savings in the budget for 2010 due next week.

Trade unions for the public sector said they would defer a fresh strike planned for tomorrow on the anticipation that they would be allowed to take unpaid leave next year instead of a straight pay cut. A union leader admitted their proposals for the country’s 300,000 public sector workers would fall somewhat short of the government’s €1.3bn target.