§ Mr. Patrick Thompson
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether arrangements are being made to pay prison officers in the Northern Ireland prison service arrears of lodging allowance in the light of the negotiated settlement of a civil claim taken against his Department.
§ Mr. Cope
The civil claim in question related to the question of entitlement of lodging allowances under the Civil Service regulations for periods of detached duty, where prison officers were provided with official accommodation. The regulations provide for an abatement of certain detached duty allowances in these320W circumstances and until 1972 they provided for payment at half-rate in the case of lodging allowance. It has now been settled that from July 1972 the abatement to half-ra te lodging allowance was not in accordance with the Civil Service code. Accordingly, following negotiations between the Prison Department and the POA(NI), agreement has been reached and arrangements are being made for paying arrears of the allowance due to those prison officers who had an entitlement covering the period July 1972 to March 1982.