Question Time: Finance and Personnel 02 December 2014

Samuel Gardiner asked the Finance Minister what redeployment and retraining opportunities he intends to provide to cover the skills gap in the public service created by early retirement and redundancy packages. The Minister stated that "The Executive hasve asked my Department to bring forward a range of proposals for strategic personnel interventions to effect a pay bill reduction in the Civil Service, including a voluntary exit scheme. It is important to stress that a voluntary exit scheme is only one of a range of measures to be considered.DFP, in close collaboration with other Departments, has begun the process of establishing the overall size of the pay bill reduction that needs to be delivered and how this is to be achieved. It is recognised that it will be important in the planning of these measures to take account of the Civil Service maintaining essential business continuity. At this early stage, it is not possible to estimate the extent to which there might be any redeployment or any need for retraining due to the implementation of a voluntary exit scheme".

Phil Flanagan asked the Minister for an update on his Department's discussions with Treasury officials and Ministers ahead of the Chancellor's Autumn Statement. The Minister confirmed that he had not had any direct communication with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the content of his autumn statement, and, whilst his officials are in ongoing contact with their Treasury colleagues on a range of issues, they are not sighted on the content of the autumn statement.

During Question Time the Minister also answered questions on Defamation Law, the actions of Mr Stephen Brimstone, Smith Commission and Local Impact and the Public-sector Restructuring project.

You can read a full transcript on our website.

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