Over £685 million for public sector pay – Archibald

Date published: 15 February 2024

Finance Minister, Dr Caoimhe Archibald MLA has announced £688 million to prioritise public sector pay awards following Executive agreement today.

Finance Minister Dr Caoimhe Archibald standing, smiling to camera and holdin ga folder

The allocation was part of the £1.045bn available from the Executive Restoration package for general pressures and pay in 2023-24. Some £22 million of resource funding was also available from the Executive’s own funds.

Commenting after the Executive meeting, Minister Archibald said: “Ministers are united in their determination to provide the best possible public services. It is important we ensure all our public sector workers receive a fair pay award.

“The Executive secured agreement from Treasury to increase the amount available for public sector pay. Working together we are delivering for public sector workers and their families by allocating over £685m for public sector pay awards.

“This will enable pay negotiations to open and hopefully conclude as quickly as possible so public sector workers can receive the pay awards, they are long overdue.”

Outlining the allocations in a written ministerial statement to the Assembly Minister Archibald said: “I am providing each Department with an allocation based on current forecast of overspend and pay costs. Ministers will have the flexibility to make decisions to manage their own budgets, within this fixed funding envelope.”

Resource DEL allocations for general pressures and pay costs include:

  • Department of Health - £550.6 million
  • Department of Education – £296.8 million
  • Department of Justice - £75.3 million
  • Department for Infrastructure – £87.8million
  • Department for Communities – £19.4million
  • Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs - £14.7 million
  • Department for Economy – £12.1million
  • Department of Finance – £6.7million
  • The Executive Office – £3.4million
  • Public Prosecution Service – £2.0million

Separate to the Executive Restoration Agreement funding, £83.5 million of available Capital DEL funding was also agreed for allocation. £40.9 million of this will be awarded to departments for capital projects while £42.6 million has been allocated to the Department of Education and £30k to Public Prosecution Service to meet Capital overspends.

Commenting on the capital allocations, Minister Archibald said: “The Executive has agreed £40.9 million of new capital funding allocations today to provide much needed investment in housing, education and infrastructure projects. This funding will also see investment in Research and Innovation in Higher Education.”

The capital allocations are as follows:

Department for Infrastructure – £16.0 million

Department for Communities – £13.2 million

Department for Economy – £9 million

Department of Education – £2.6 million

Concluding Minister Archibald said: “While the allocations today will provide much relief to our public sector workers and help offset the pressures facing departments, we must be clear that significant challenges exist across all areas of our public services.  Having to complete this process at this time in the financial year has compounded the pressure.

“I will continue to press Treasury to provide sufficient funding based on our level of needs which enables us to invest in and reform our public services.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. Funding for those staff on NICS terms and conditions will fall to all departments and funding for this has been included in the Resource DEL allocations provided today.
  2. A copy of the Finance Minister’s Written Ministerial Statement can be on the Departmental website
  3. Media enquiries should be addressed to the Department of Finance Press Office on Tel: 028 9081 6724 or email dof.pressoffice@finance-ni.gov.uk.
  4. To keep up to date with news from the Department you can follow us on the following social media channels:
  5. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service For Media Enquiries Only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110

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