Belfast Telegraph

842 civil servants take redundancy

More than 800 civil servants have accepted voluntary redundancy offers, finance minister Arlene Foster said.

The measure will be funded through £700 million of borrowing from Westminster but it is part of the pre-Christmas Stormont House Agreement which has been jeopardised following DUP and Sinn Fein divisions over welfare reform.

Ms Foster said 842 staff had agreed to the severance deal and 161 rejected it.

Applicants have until this evening to respond.

Since March, more than 7,000 people applied, MLAs were previously told.

The package includes a month's pay for each year of service, up to a maximum of 21 months. They could expect to leave by the end of September.

Sinn Fein and the SDLP backed the Stormont House Agreement but subsequently vetoed the element of the deal that committed the Executive to implement the UK Government's welfare reforms which they claim will affect the most vulnerable.

The deadlock has brought the five-party mandatory coalition to a financial cliff.

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