Finance Minister Ó Muilleoir announces £175million of funding allocations
Finance Minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir today announced £175million of funding allocations to departments in the June Monitoring Round.
The funding agreed by the Executive includes an additional £72million for health, £30million for education, £28million for infrastructure and £20million for skills.
The Minister said: "This positive monitoring round represents a determination on my part to work with ministerial colleagues to deliver a 'fresh start' not just through words - but demonstrated in deeds. Despite huge pressures on budgets as a result of the Westminster austerity agenda, we have managed to bring forward a monitoring round which does not contain cuts. The allocations made in this monitoring round will deliver positive outcomes by supporting funding for key public services.
“The pressures in our health service are well documented and an additional £72million funding will go a considerable way to help addressing these issues. It brings the total additional funding provided to health this year to £200million and is evidence of the Executive’s commitment to protecting our health service.
“It is important that we invest in education and up-skilling our workforce as we seek to grow our economy. An additional £20million in this monitoring round will go towards supporting that skills agenda and an additional £30million is allocated to education, which is a crucial investment in our young people.”
Commenting on capital allocations the Minister continued: "Whilst this monitoring round supports key Executive priorities - I am also proud that it aims to support our local communities. I have made £5.5million available for co-ownership homes to ensure that more of our citizens can enjoy the right to a roof over their head and £2million to fund welfare advice centres which will support the vulnerable, ensuring they receive their full benefit entitlements.
“As well as additional funding to help maintain our local roads infrastructure and provide flood prevention measures, I have also recognised the importance of working positively with communities to support local tourism projects and I have provided £1.3million to ensure the HMS Caroline museum project can be completed.
“Additionally, I place great importance on the regeneration of border regions. Cross-border co-operation puts those communities at the heart of an all-island economy and that’s why I’m proud to be the first minister since 2010 to make a capital allocation to a cross-border body in a monitoring round.
“I recently visited the headquarters of Waterways Ireland and saw the transformational work they are involved in to make the Loch Erne waterway a beacon for tourism. Their ambitious plans will help create outstanding ‘blueways’ in Ireland, helping to boost tourism and create jobs and I am allocating £1.4million to the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) which will assist Waterways Ireland with their capital investment plans.”
Resource DEL (Departmental Expenditure Limit) allocations include:
- £30million for education, including £5million for Special Educational Needs, £20million for schools and £5million for the schools End Year Flexibility (EYF) scheme
- £20million for skills, primarily for the further education sector
- £8.3million to the Department for Communities (DfC) for various pressures including welfare advice centres, maternity grants and funeral loans
- £5.3million to the Department for infrastructure (DfI) for roads maintenance and flood prevention
- £3million for various pressures in the Department of Justice (DoJ)
- £1.5million to the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) for Knowledge Transfer Scheme
Capital DEL allocations totalling £34.6million were agreed, including £5.5million of Financial Transactions Capital to DfC for Co-Ownership Housing and conventional Capital DEL allocations of:
- £22.9million to DfI for flood prevention, roads schemes/maintenance and Waterways Ireland
- £5million to the Department of Health (DoH) for the development of key ICT systems
- £1.3million to Department for the Economy (DfE) for HMS Caroline
Speaking of the challenges facing the new Executive, Máirtín Ó Muilleoir said: “This monitoring round demonstrates what can be achieved by working together, in spite of the financial constraints, and I will continue to make best endeavours to prevent the least well off from shouldering this burden.”