Finance Minister Sammy Wilson talked about smart solutions and budget plans
Speaking after the meeting, which saw over 100 people from the voluntary and community sector quiz the Minister on his plans for the 2011-2015 budget, NICVA CEO Seamus McAleavey said:
“When Minister Wilson called for public debate on the Spending Review the voluntary and community sector stepped up to that challenge. Now that the Minister is calling for new ideas and new ways of doing things the voluntary and community sector is stepping up once again.
"By investing in the voluntary and community sector, the Northern Ireland Executive is investing in tackling some of the most pressing and expensive social, economic and environmental problems facing Northern Ireland.
"Today we showcased how investing in the voluntary and community sector is a win-win for government and the people of Northern Ireland. These solutions deliver the preferred outcome for people, families and communities, for example keeping people out of care, while at the same time saving the cost of more expensive and less effective alternatives.
"Strong and effective public services are essential for everyone in Northern Ireland. The voluntary and community sector is presenting a case that is not about simply cutting back or doing more with less. Government should work with voluntary and community organisations and our colleagues in the public sector to find more of these smart solutions to very tough times."
For reports of other meetings with Departments on the plans for the Comprehensive Spending Review, see the overview article.
A briefing paper prepared by NICVA, which gives detailed examples of how smart solutions offered by the sector can save money at the same time as providing vital and efficient services, was circulated at the meeting and is attached below for download.