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On the cards again? Donohoe to consider decentralisation for civil servants

Decentralisation was previously brought in by former Minister for Finance Charlie McCreevy in 2003.

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe before the Budget 2020 announcements today.
Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe before the Budget 2020 announcements today.
Image: Sam Boal

CIVIL SERVANTS IN Dublin could be dispersed further around the country in the future, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said in his Budget 2020 speech today. 

Donohoe said his officials will be reviewing future workforce and office requirements for the civil service to consider the location of support offices and services. This will ensure consistency with Ireland 2040 goals and “balanced regional development”, the minister said today. 

“Demographic changes and the next wave of technological change will place new demands on our key offices and Departments,” said Donohoe.

“The civil service of the future will be different in terms of its skills mix, use of technology and geographical footprint. We are therefore developing a longer term vision and strategy for the civil service.” 

There are currently 335,594 public servants in the country, an increase of over 42,000 since 2014. There was also a rise in civil servant numbers during this period. 

Decentralisation was proposed in 2003 by then-Minister for Finance Charlie McCreevy. The minister’s plan intended to move 10,300 Dublin-based public servants outside the capital by 2007.

They had intended to move to 53 locations in 25 counties around Ireland, however only a third of those jobs were decentralised before the plan was abandoned in 2011 and widely considered a failure. 

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