Budget boost for health: Storey

Date published: 19 January 2016

Finance Minister Mervyn Storey today outlined additional funding for health in next year’s Executive budget.

Finance Minister Mervyn Storey at desk

The Minister explained the priorities in the 2016/17 budget to provide additional funding for health, education and skills as well as key infrastructure projects.

Speaking as he brought the agreed Executive budget before the Assembly, the Minister said: “Next year’s budget will protect health, provide additional funding for public services and prepare for the future.  This budget will enable the transition from 12 to 9 Departments and establish a stable platform that will allow funding flexibilities for new Ministers after the May elections.”

Mervyn Storey added: “Health matters to everyone in Northern Ireland and we want to deliver the best possible health and social care services. The Executive has shown its commitment by protecting the health budget. 

“It is recognised that demand for health and social care services is increasing, which puts significant pressure on services.  The additional £133 million of resource funding in the budget for the new Department of Health will help to address this. It will also help the Department achieve their key aim to improve the overall health and well-being of the population and prevent ill-health.”

Turning to the wider budget, Mervyn Storey said: “I am pleased that one of my first duties as Finance Minister is to bring a balanced budget for 2016/17 before the Assembly. This budget represents a real step forward for Northern Ireland and one that puts the Executive in a position to support vital public services in spite of a very difficult and constrained financial environment.

“I want to show my commitment to the importance of skills and in addition to the £5 million provided for skills in the 2016/17 budget, I am supportive of a further £20million being allocated to the skills agenda in June monitoring next year.

“Skills are a key building block for our economic growth and it's important to  develop a highly skilled workforce.

“This investment will improve performance and increase productivity, which will enhance the reputation of Northern Ireland as a great place to do business. Together with the upcoming devolution of corporation tax, this will help towards attracting investment and delivering prosperity for our people.”

Allocations made by the Executive to help address significant pressures facing public services include:

  • £133 million to the Department of Health
  • £15 million to the Department of Justice for legal aid
  • £20 million to Department for Infrastructure for roads structural maintenance
  • £40 million to the Department of Education
  • £5 million to the Department for the Economy for the skills agenda

Speaking about the challenges ahead, the Finance Minister said: “While we have been able to make allocations to address significant pressures facing public services, we are still facing real terms reductions in funding. It is impossible to continually do more with less, so the challenge facing the next Executive is to ensure we are doing the right things. In this context, it is imperative that we reform and transformation of the public sector continues. Budget 2016/17 allows that to happen.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. The 2016-17 budget document is available on the Executive website.
  2. Media enquiries should be addressed to the Department of Finance and Personnel Communications Office on Tel: 028 9081 6724 or Tel: 028 9081 6895. Out of Office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.

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