For anyone not aware, Ireland is about a year from doing an Iceland and being broke. Well if it wasnt for the EU we would have done an Iceland. Either way the Government is being forced to look at its expenditure and work out how to reduce how much we are spending. One of the main target areas will be in public sector pay. In response to the inevitable, the unions are all mobilising looking to defend their staff and the media are wading in to attack what is probably the highest paid civil service in Europe. We have all heard some great stories but the Garda (Police) "premium" allowance pretty much takes the bisquit for me. (Source: The Irish Times) On top of overtime rates for Saturdays and Sundays (fair enough), a rent allowance (wah?), a boot allowance (eh?) a uniform allowance (wha?), a cycling allowance (good), unvouched expenses of up to 30 per week (for some staff), an allowance for being contactable out of hours (senior staff) they also qualify for an allowance which is ..... get this ............. paid to members who are on leave and would ordinarily be able to claim unsocial hours allowances. They get an allowance to compensate them for the fact that they cant claim allowances while on holiday!