I propose to take Questions Nos. 286 and 297 together
Following intensive engagement in recent days between the public service management and public service staff representatives which was facilitated by the Labour Relations Commission (LRC), the LRC has developed and recommended a set of proposals for consideration and agreement that seeks to secure the savings required by the Exchequer while ameliorating the impacts on public service staff to the greatest extent possible. These proposals include specific cost saving measures in the Prison Service. Public servants will be able to consider the full set of proposals by the LRC which will be available shortly and the public service staff representatives who remained in negotiations have indicated that these proposals will be subject to ballot by members. The Government will await the outcome to this process.