High demand for transfer scheme as Irish officials seek to flee Dublin

By on 21/01/2019 | Updated on 24/09/2020
Dublin: too expensive for civil servants (Image courtesy: Robzle)

Almost 1,000 Irish civil servants have applied for transfers out of Dublin in the past 12 months, with politicians blaming the high cost of living in the city. The figure represents about one in 16 of the capital’s civil servants.

The Civil Service Mobility scheme allows workers to request a transfer to other parts of Ireland. It is divided into mobility zones, rather than county or province. Workers can state their preference for mobility in a maximum of three out of the 46 available zones. So far, 963 people have requested to move from the Irish capital.

Staff members can apply for mobility within their current zone (excluding Dublin) as well as other zones. More than half the requests (541) to move from Dublin came from employees with lower pay packages, such as clerical officers.

Priced out

Member of the Irish parliament (TD) for Fianna Fail Éamon Ó Cuív said that cost-of-living is the main factor in people wanting to move out of the capital, according to the Dublin Live newspaper.

“We have a situation that I have never seen before, where a couple with two very steady jobs can’t afford to buy a house. I believe house ownership and permanent tenure is vital for people’s wellbeing and for the stability of society,” he said.

The continued reduction of salaries for civil servants, and other professions like gardai and nurses, have contributed to an “unfair society” where younger people will face a longer road in “reaching their full potential”, he added. The mobility scheme is being rolled out in phases, with the next due to allow civil servants who work in Dublin to apply to move jobs within the capital. This is due to be launched by the minister for Finance and Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe.

About Catherine Early

Catherine is a journalist and editor specialising in government policy and regulation. She writes predominantly about environmental issues and has held permanent roles at the Environmentalist (now known as Transform), the ENDS Report, Planning magazine and Windpower Monthly, and has also written for the Guardian, the Ecologist and China Dialogue. She was a finalist in the Guardian’s International Development Journalism competition 2009, and was part of the team that won PPA Business Magazine of the Year 2011 for Windpower Monthly. She also won an outstanding content award at Haymarket Media Group’s employee awards for data-led stories in Planning magazine. She holds a 2:1 honours degree in English language and literature from Birmingham University.

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