Home / News and Events / Latest News / Significant pay gap persists between public and private sectors

Significant pay gap persists between public and private sectors

26th February 2018

  • Public-Private sector pay gap ‘unjustifiable’
  • 38% of SMEs cannot afford pay increases
  • Government must foster greater national competitiveness

ISME, the Irish SME Association, at the release of the CSO Earnings and Labour costs figures today (26th February), calls on the government to reduce business costs and improve our national competitiveness.

Average weekly earnings were 734.60 in Q4 2017, an increase of 2.5% from one year earlier according to preliminary estimates of the Earnings and Labour Costs Quarterly release. The differential in weekly pay between the public (€946.55) and the private (€674.94) sector now stands at €271.61 (40%). This is consistent with the public-private sector gap in previous earnings figures.

ISME CEO Neil McDonnell said “The significant gap between public and private sector pay is unacceptable. Continued increases will put additional pressures on the private sector. In our most recent business trends research, 38% of businesses will not increase pay this year. The reason for this is, quite simply, business can’t afford such increases.”

The Association called for:     

  • Investment in affordable housing and infrastructure.
  • Reduce the public-private sector pay gap to 10% by 2025.
  • Improved efficiencies within the public sector increase value for money.
  • Removal of restrictive rules on out-sourcing in the public sector.

He added,

“As a disorderly Brexit becomes more likely, it is vital for Government to achieve greater cost competiveness, an area we believe is under threat nationally.”


For further information, please contact

Neil McDonnell, Chief Executive

T: 01 6622755, M: 087 2995658

E: [email protected]