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Roads jobs left unfilled in drive to slash costs

By David Gordon

A Government agency is to leave 110 vacant posts unfilled as part of a cost-cutting drive, it has been revealed.

The Roads Service — part of the Department for Regional Development — has also announced the axing of 50 temporary posts.

Its money-saving measures have been denounced as “just the beginning” by a trade union official.

A DRD spokesperson said: “In order to achieve targets within its budget allocations for the three years to 2010/11, in April Roads Service further reviewed its structure and took the decision to remove posts that were unfunded and vacant.

“The 110 posts were vacant and therefore no staff, either temporary or permanent, have lost their jobs or been affected by this decision. “

The spokesperson added: “Roads Service, like all Government agencies, must manage the financial pressures on its budget and in managing our pressures in 2010/11, it has taken the decision to release approximately 50 temporary staff across the Agency.

“Roads Service has redirected resources to ensure delivery of our key high priority frontline services is unaffected.”

Gareth Scott, of trade union Unite, said: “This demonstrates that cuts are already happening in the public sector by stealth.

“This loss of these 110 jobs is just the beginning and eventually this will result a severe loss in local services to the general public.

“This level of cuts will affect the amount of work that can be done and most likely result in jobs being delayed or put on the back burner.

“The current Government policy will result in fewer jobs in the economy; reduced services and even greater delays in infrastructure maintenance.”

Last week, the Belfast Telegraph reported that the Department of the Environment is cutting 350 jobs, also because of funding pressures.

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