Spending Review Creates Significant Challenges For Public Services

The newly announced Spending Review creates significant challenges for public services in NI, Finance Minister Conor Murphy has said.

The Minister said that the Spending Review will not provide an additional £1.6bn per year for Executive departments. When compared to the Executive's 2021/22 Budget there will be an additional £450m, £670m and £866m for day-to-day spending against growing demand for public services. This represents a marginal 0.9% real term increase to the Executive's Budget next year, turning to zero real terms change by 2024-25.

Responding to the Spending Review which sets the Executive's budgets envelope for the next three years, Minister Murphy said: "Years of austerity and more recently the Covid pandemic has placed enormous strain on public services. Our health service in particular is under immense pressure with waiting lists at an unprecedented level. Workers face an increase in National Insurance and families are dealing with a cost of living crisis as a result of rising food and energy costs.
News Image
"This Spending Review was the opportunity to deliver a budget which would have enabled the Executive to rebuild public services and spur economic recovery. However it provides a marginal real terms increase in funding next year which will be far outweighed by increased demands on public services, particularly in light of the ongoing pandemic."

Welcoming the reduction in Air Passenger Duty, Minister Murphy said: "Airports are a crucial part of our economic infrastructure and are key to regional connectivity. The fact that APD does not apply in the south creates an uneven playing field across the island. While it is disappointing that the Chancellor has not abolished APD it is welcome that it has been lowered. However, I would have preferred to have seen this reduction applied sooner than April 2023."

Conor Murphy concluded: "A multi-year Budget at least enables the Executive to better plan and prioritise its finances. The task now for us as an Executive is to make the best possible use of the limited resources available and work together to produce a Budget that brings down waiting lists on a sustainable basis."

Following the Spending Review, the Department of Finance will now work with Departments to prepare the Executive's Budget which will cover the period 2022-2025.

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

10 October 2007
Finances To Be Challenging At Assembly
Stormont Finance Minister Peter Robinson has warned that the chancellor's Pre-Budget report demonstrates slowing public finances and that difficult decisions will have to be made at the Assembly to meet substantial challenges in Ulster's public services.
20 April 2009
Translink Job Cuts Confirmed
About 75 jobs will be cut from Northern Ireland's bus and rail services next year, it has emerged. The NI Minister for Regional Development Conor Murphy has confirmed the details in an answer to an Assembly question - but also insisted there would be no compulsory layoffs.
13 June 2005
The 2005 Birthday Honours List for Northern Ireland
The full list of recipients of honours in the 2005 Birthday Honours list for Northern Ireland is as follows: Knighthood: Mr Hugh Orde OBE, Chief Constable, Police Service of Northern Ireland - for services to Northern Ireland. CBE: Mr Robert David Stewart Campbell, Belfast - For Political and public service.
24 January 2005
Caterpillar to locate financial services centre in Larne
American-based heavy equipment manufacturer Caterpillar Inc has announced the creation of a shared financial services centre based in Larne to service its network of companies across Europe.
07 July 2004
Government announces investment for disability project
The government today announced ongoing investment in the Wraparound Scheme in the Southern Health and Social Services Board. The project develops new ways of multi-agency and multi-disciplinary working in partnership with the families and carers of children with a disability.