The UK Government today announced that the Northern Ireland Executive’s capital budget for 2015-16 will increase by 3.3% in cash terms to £1.1bn (1.5% in real terms). This will allow the Executive to boost spending on infrastructure projects and support economic growth.
Alongside budgets, the Spending Round announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne also confirms:
- £31m funding for the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) to help tackle the ongoing terrorist threat in Northern Ireland. This funding is additional to the PSNI’s core funding, which will continue to be provided by the Executive. The funding announced today extends the £199.5m of support provided to the PSNI by HM Treasury in 2011
- £100m temporary additional borrowing powers over 2014/15 - 2015/16 through the NI Reinvestment and Reform Imitative (RRI), to fund shared housing and education projects, as set out in the economic pact - ‘Building a Prosperous and United Community’, published on 14 June
The Spending Round sets out how the Government will continue to reduce the deficit by taking difficult decisions to cut public spending and prioritise investment in infrastructure to support a stronger, more balanced economy.
As a result of the UK Government’s ongoing commitment to protect health and schools budgets, the Northern Ireland Executive’s resource budget will only see a small decrease of -0.1% in cash terms to £9.6bn (-1.8% in real terms). This is less than the overall reduction in resource spending for the UK Government as a whole, and considerably less than the cuts to non-protected UK departments of up to 10%.
The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP said:
At a time when the Government is taking the necessary measures to tackle the record deficit we inherited, today’s spending review represents a fair settlement for Northern Ireland.
In particular, Northern Ireland will benefit from significant new money for capital spending, enabling the Executive to invest more in our roads, schools and hospitals and other infrastructure projects.
This comes on top of the additional money already announced since 2010 and will help in delivering key elements of the economic package agreed by the Government and the Executive earlier this month. This includes recognition by the Executive that the Government is on track to deliver the commitment to £18bn of capital funding in Northern Ireland.
The ongoing provision of £31 million in security funding for the PSNI is clear evidence of this Government’s commitment to maintain pressure on the terrorists to make Northern Ireland a safer place for everyone.
As this spending review demonstrates, this is a Government that is determined to equip the whole of the UK to compete in the global race, and build a stronger economy alongside a fairer society.
Northern Ireland will also benefit from a number of UK-wide measures in this Spending Round, including:
- Increased capital investment in science, rising in real terms from £0.6 billion in 2012-13 to £1.1 billion in 2015-16, and in line with inflation to 2016-17, ensuring the whole UK has the facilities to develop its world-class research base
- Continued investment in superfast broadband and clearing high-value spectrum to support next generation mobile services
The Northern Ireland Executive’s budget has been determined by the Barnett formula in the normal way, as set out in the Statement of Funding Policy. Decisions on spending will be made by the Executive.
Across the UK, the Government is keeping mortgage rates low for families; fixing the banks to support investment in businesses; dealing with the country’s debts to maintain confidence in the UK’s ability to pay its way; and backing aspiration with low tax rates and an enterprise economy to help businesses create new jobs.
Notes to editors:
- In 2011 the Treasury agreed to provide an additional £200m of funding for the PSNI to help combat the national security threat in Northern Ireland. This had a clear impact. While the threat from residual terrorism in NI remains SEVERE, the Government’s strategic approach has contributed to a reduction in the number of national security attacks. There have been 8 attacks so far this year.
- The Government is committed to maintaining efforts to counter the threat and is providing an additional £31m in 2015-16. This follows a review by the Northern Ireland Office and PSNI to determine the resource requirement on national security issues for 2015-16.
- This £31m funding will be added to the NIE settlement for 2015-16. The PSNI are also engaged in a conversation within the NIE on their requirements above and beyond this £31m.