THE STORMONT Executive is gunning for the thousands of work from home civil servants who have not returned to their offices following the lifting of the coronavirus lockdown.
oliticians see their absence from major city and town buildings as having a catastrophic effect on the economy with restaurants, coffee shops and bars all suffering from lost trade.
Assembly sources say the crisis has reached tipping-point with Economy Minister Diane Dodds writing to the head of the civil service, David Sterling to outline government concerns.
Many of the buildings housing Northern Ireland’s 23,500 civil service staff are operating at under 30% capacity.
This has led some senior politicians to float the idea of moving staff out of sought-after offices in the centre of Belfast where rent is at a premium.
One asked: “What’s the point in paying huge rent for buildings in the city centre when hardly any civil servants are
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