Breakthrough in Funding Crisis

30 Mar 2017     Last updated: 30 Mar 2017

NICVA met last night with the Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service Sir Malcolm McKibben, Permanent Secretaries David Sterling DoF, Leo O’Reilly DfC, Nick Perry DoJ, Noel Lavery DAERA and Deputy Secretaries from the other Departments.

The meeting was pulled together very quickly and showed a high level of commitment on the issue from the Senior Civil Service.

The outcome is that departments will continue to fund voluntary and community organisations that they have a funding relationship with, for 3 months, in the absence of an agreed NI Budget.

NICVA welcomes this swift and critical intervention as letters have just gone out to Departments notifying them of their cash allocations from the Department of Finance.

NICVA Chief Executive Seamus McAleavey said, “This is a really important breakthrough for many, many organisations, their service users and their employees. I appreciate the work of David Sterling and his colleagues across all Departments for this key decision.

While this is a temporary fix, it is critical to sustaining organisations.  NICVA fully realises that this is no substitute to a Budget set by a functioning Northern Ireland Executive and we hope that Northern Irelands parties can find a way to resolve their differences and maintain the devolved institutions.  Most of all we need stability.

We also recognise that when budgets are agreed that there will still be financial problems as new pressures and extra resources for health mean consequential cuts to other departments.  To make the best of the tough financial circumstances we need the political will and behaviour of politicians to be squarely behind agreeing a joint Programme for Government.  Those in government must act together on their agreed programme.  “Papering over the cracks” simply won’t do we need something better”.

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