Northern Ireland

Department for Social Development says hundreds of jobs to go

Social Security Agency
Image caption The department said 350 jobs would have to go in the Social Security Agency in 2015/16

The Department for Social Development has said it will have to cut hundreds of jobs due to spending cuts in the 2015/16 budget.

It said 350 jobs will have to go in the Social Security Agency in 2015/16 and at least 300 in the Housing Executive.

A further 75 jobs are likely to go from central departmental functions.

Senior officials told a Stormont committee on Thursday that they hoped to make the job losses through voluntary redundancies.

A senior official told the DSD committee that the job losses in the Social Security Agency could lead to increased fraud and error in the benefits system.

In total, the department needs to find savings of £99m.

Unveiling the budget last month, Finance Minister Simon Hamilton said it was "rooted in tough choices".

Some other executive departments have already outlined how they will deal with the spending cuts.

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