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More than 4,000 volunteer to leave NI public sector positions

Published 18/01/2016

A scheme for voluntary exit from the Northern Ireland Civil Service was established following the 2014 Stormont House talks
A scheme for voluntary exit from the Northern Ireland Civil Service was established following the 2014 Stormont House talks

The number of Northern Ireland public sector employees exiting voluntarily is expected to be 4,467, officials said.

An extra small tranche of offers will be made next month to make up for a number of people who rejected redundancy deals earlier. it will also address tight budgets next year, according to a progress report on the Fresh Start Agreement.

Redundancies are predicted to cost £184 million, but generate annual savings of approximately £160 million.

The total number of Stormont departments is expected to be cut and senior management structures for the nine new Stormont departments have been agreed with senior staff provisionally assigned to posts.

Plans have been made to share personnel, accounting and IT services, an update published by the NIO said.

It said: " £200 million has been released to enable 2015-16 public sector Voluntary Exit Scheme to progress.

"Tranche 4 offers have been made and acceptances finalised.

"A small fifth tranche of offers will issue in February to help address rejection rates from earlier tranches and anticipated 2016-17 budget pressures.

"In terms of the overall public sector, there were two tranches of funding in 2015-16.

"Overall it is forecast 4,467 employees will exit at a cost of £184 million, but generating annual savings of approximately £160 million.

"The approach to public sector pay restraint is currently under consideration."

A scheme for voluntary exit from the Northern Ireland Civil Service, as well as a separate mechanism for releasing members of the wider public sector, was established following the 2014 Stormont House talks.

As part of the Fresh Start deal, extra money was provided by the British Government to combat paramilitary activity and help build a shared future

Money earmarked for bodies dealing with the past has been held until agreement is reached on dealing with legacy issues.

The UK Government will provide an additional £25 million over five years to tackle continuing paramilitary activity.

The UK Government funding will only be released after the Executive has agreed a strategy to address continuing paramilitary activity.

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