Fiscal Framework

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Finance – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:00 pm on 7 May 2024.

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Photo of Caoimhe Archibald Caoimhe Archibald Sinn Féin 2:00, 7 May 2024

It is critical that a new fiscal framework provide clarity on our long-term funding model. As the Member will be aware, the financial package is for two years. Concerns have been outlined in that regard. We must ensure that we are funded to our level of need in order to enable the Executive to deliver the high-quality public services that people expect and deserve and for us to have sustainable public finances. The current approach is unsustainable. Recent reports from the Fiscal Council and the NI Affairs Committee have reflected what I have been saying, which is that the North is not receiving the funding that it needs. Both raised concerns about the financial cliff edge that we are facing and stated that our funding should be adjusted based on need from the start of the current spending review.

The Fiscal Council has made the point that we are the only devolved Administration being asked to deliver public services whilst being funded below our level of need. In my view, these assessments reaffirm the position for the British Government to secure an urgent long-term solution to ensure that public services are sustainably funded. Any new fiscal framework will be key to achieving that.