24/06/2024

Alliance Calls For Increased Financial Package For NI

Alliance has called for Northern Ireland's public finances funding package to be increased in order to support everyone across society.

The party's Lagan Valley candidate, Sorcha Eastwood has said the deal negotiated before the restoration of the Assembly and Executive, while welcome, was only meant to be temporary, with a longer-term and more improved plan needed.

Ms Eastwood has described NI's public finances as "perilous", saying that they can't become more effective from "a burning platform of cuts – longer-term solutions are required. The current financial package is only a temporary solution, rightly mostly taken up by public sector pay award".
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The Lagan Valley candidate stated: “Alliance played a pivotal role in negotiating and securing the £3.3 billion financial package before the restoration of the institutions, leading change by making numerous representations to the UK Government in the talks preceding it, highlighting the false economies around neglecting public services and pay pressures here.

“But restoring our financial health will require stabilisation of the current financial crisis, and subsequent transformation of public spending on an 'invest to save' basis. Budgets are tight across the Executive, so to vacate responsibility for them is not a responsible approach.

"The core level of funding for Northern Ireland is key for our economic, social and financial wellbeing. The Fiscal Council has stated we have been structurally underfunded by hundreds of millions.

"Alliance believes the current fiscal floor of 124 per cent for Northern Ireland needs to be increased to closer to 127 per cent. Alliance MPs will lead change by committing to securing an increased base-line fiscal floor as part of the UK Government’s next spending review.

"This would help combat the historical underfunding we have seen for Northern Ireland, and when combined with the reform needed in many areas and tackling division, will go a long way to deliver for everyone right across our society."

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