Public service pay should be debated. There is another benchmarking deal due in 2007. This will be a serious issue because it will be thrust upon us once again without debate. The House should have a debate on benchmarking before the event, rather than afterwards.
We have never had a debate in advance of the benchmarking deals.
The issue is also important because there is a serious problem in the public service at the present time around benchmarking. The problem arises because certain public servants have not delivered on the performance targets that were set under the previous agreement. I call on the Minister for Finance to come into the House to tell us whether the performance targets agreed under benchmarking have been met by anybody in the public service. I suggest that benchmarking is a facade and a cosmetic way to pay the public service twice as much as the private sector.