N. Ireland Politics

Civil service voluntary redundancy: Theresa Villiers says government will fund scheme

Parliament Buildings at Stormont
Image caption More than 7,000 civil servants expressed interest in the voluntary redundancy scheme

Funding to allow the civil service voluntary exit scheme to go ahead has been announced by the Secretary of State Theresa Villiers.

The £700m scheme, which was agreed as part of the Stormont House Agreement, has faced uncertainty because of the continuing impasse over welfare reform.

Its aim is to help Stormont balance its budget by shedding the equivalent of 2,400 full-time civil service posts.

The first 864 civil servants are due to leave on 30 September.

Ms Villiers made the announcement at the British Irish conference in Cambridge on Saturday.

It is believed the scheme could save about £90m from the civil service's annual pay bill.

More than 7,000 civil servants expressed interest in the scheme and 1,200 offers were made, but only 864 staff took them up.

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