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Posted by Why shops in Ireland charge so much ! on October 14, 2003 at 17:31:02:
I'm a shop owner and rates payer, my rates goes to the local government to help them pay their bills, one of their bills is the cost of employee salaries and now I'm told that the Craft workers unions are looking for a 17% pay rise with no evidence that we will be getting improved public services. I cannot afford to give my staff or myself a 17% pay rise - I rely on profits to enable me to do that, as it is, if I don't generate extra profits to pay for rates increases my margins will go down and I may have to look at reducing capacity (thus reducing what I can offer to my customers) or reducing staffing levels (thus reducing the service level that I give to my customers).
I don't blame local government for my woes as they are not allowed to reduce staff numbers (no matter how surplus to requirements some of them are) so they cannot reduce service levels.
All I'll say to you the punters is that next time you're wondering why the price of something in my shop is too high you'll know why I had to boost the profits.
The new pay deal, which will cost the Exchequer €150 million, is worth on average €87 a week per worker and will be in addition to the national pay increase due under the Sustaining Progress plan of just under 5 per cent.
The deal will also include an annual bonus of €888.81 paid at the beginning of December each year.
Criticising the deal, Fine Gael spokesman on finance Mr Richard Bruton said it showed "the myth that benchmarking had brought an end to pay increases based on relativities and leap-frogging is now blown away."
Mr Bruton said: "In the absence of renegotiation the deal remains an empty vessel with nothing to offer the public who are footing the escalating bill."
Fine Gael has called on the Government to suspend paying out the remaining benchmarking awards until there is evidence the taxpayer is getting improved public services.