Howlin flags redundancy plan


NEW VOLUNTARY redundancy schemes could be established for surplus administrative staff in the Health Service Executive and personnel in the Department of Agriculture, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin has signalled.

The Minister told the Dáil Public Accounts Committee yesterday that Government departments had been asked to determine whether they had surplus staff. He said there appeared to be significant numbers of surplus staff on the administrative side in the HSE. He also indicated that there could be surplus personnel in the Department of Agriculture.

Mr Howlin said previously there could be targeted voluntary redundancy schemes in areas where staff surpluses were identified.

He told the committee several thousand staff who left the public service by the end of last February did so to avail of pension arrangements based on salary levels that applied before pay cuts were introduced over recent years.

The Government approved proposals for a new voluntary redundancy scheme earlier this month. However, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform has set out little detail in relation to the plan. It has declined to comment on the numbers it envisages leaving under the scheme.

Mr Howlin’s comments yesterday represent the first indication of the areas at which the scheme could be targeted.