Opportunity to invest in public services missed - Archibald

Date published: 06 March 2024

Finance Minister, Caoimhe Archibald has said the Chancellor’s Budget means the financial outlook for public services remains extremely challenging for devolved governments.

Finance Minister Dr Caoimhe Archibald

Speaking following the Spring Budget statement, Minister Archibald said: “The Chancellor’s Budget is a real opportunity missed for investment in public services. While the cut in National Insurance will provide some relief for workers, it is regretful the Chancellor has chosen not to invest more in public spending.

“While additional funding of £99 million will come to the Executive in Resource funding, this allocation won’t make a dent in the many financial challenges we face.

“At a time when our hospitals, schools, infrastructure and other public services need bolstered, the Chancellor has failed to provide adequate funding for devolved administrations.”

As a result of the Budget, the Executive will receive £99 million Resource funding. This is based on the current Barnett formula which will need to be updated to reflect the new 124% as part of the restoration package.

The Finance Minister added: “I welcome the £20 million for Coleraine and Derry under the Long-Term Plan for Towns which will help fund and invest in local priorities over the next 10 years.

“However, the decision not to allocate additional capital funding is shortsighted. Investment in infrastructure stimulates economic growth. It creates jobs, including in construction. It boosts innovation and improves how our public services are delivered. As we focus on economic recovery, it won’t help create the circumstances and conditions needed.”

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