Benchmarking played a part in getting us into the mess we’re in. As the country is haemorrhaging money, and the public sector is kicking and screaming at every effort to curtail the flow, why not call on this once insidious device to assist us. A new round of benchmarking would cut many of the excessive public sector salaries in the areas of administration (high level) and in the professional areas (doctors, lawyers, engineers, accountants, etc.), with a much more minimal impact on nurses, gardai, teachers and lower grade administration, who have a lot more public sympathy. For once, however, the roles should be benchmarked against equivalent private sector roles, rather than fudging to suit the public sector agenda, as has been the case in previous rounds.

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