N. Ireland Politics

Department of Finance and Personnel cuts revealed

The Department of Finance and Personnel has said it needs to cut its budget by £28.2m by 2014/15.

A department official told the Finance committee at Stormont that "this represents a significant challenge for the department".

The official said savings options it had been asked to identify "at this stage range from £7.8m in 2011-12, rising to £28.2m in the fourth year".

The department has an annual budget of £183m.

A total of 43% of departmental budget is spent on staff costs.

The official also told the committee on Wednesday that the Land and Property Services had uncollected arrears of £136m.

The department's responsibilities include, controlling the expenditure of government departments, rates collection through Land and Property Services, civil service staffing, and managing the government estate.

At the end of June, Chancellor George Osborne's first budget detailed a package of tax increases and spending cuts which aims to cut the UK's £155bn deficit.

The Northern Ireland Executive was told in May it must save an extra £128m on top of £393m other savings this year.