Belfast Telegraph

NIO has no plans to reduce staff bonuses

By David Gordon

Secretary of State Owen Paterson has been talking tough about cutting Government spending.

But the department he heads — the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) — has ruled out any clampdown on staff bonuses or reductions in big money civil service salaries.

The NIO looks after Government policy areas not devolved to the Assembly.

In the financial year 2009/10 — when the last Labour government was in power — a whopping £825,169 was paid out in bonuses to NIO staff.

Parliament has now been told that the NIO has no plans to halt staff bonuses or reduce any large salaries – despite the squeeze on public spending.

The statement was made in the House of Lords in reply to a written question from Ulster peer Lord Laird.

Responding for the government, Lord Shutt said: “The NIO does not intend to reduce salaries or bonuses paid to staff at present over and above the two-year pay freeze relating to all civil servants earning over £21,000.”

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