June Monitoring Round: The financial squeeze is on in public expenditure

NICVA analysis on public expenditure trends is for the squeeze to get tighter in Northern Ireland over the next 5 years

The June monitoring round used to be a divvying up of unspent or under-committed funds across all government departments. It’s not anymore. The June 2014 round led to a 0.8% reduction across the board but as health and education were protected that meant it was 2.1% for all other departments. This is likely to be the start of a trend. Significant financial pressures have been dealt with since 2010 by the system but now we are running out of road and that is regardless of the impact of Welfare Reform.

It is also reasonably predictable, just as it was in 2010, that whichever main party wins the next Westminster election not much will change for the better in public expenditure allocations. Northern Ireland is in for a tougher time.

That means we need good political leadership, collaborative government and decision-making and radical ideas to develop the economy and public services. Standing still isn’t an option as the ground will be cut from beneath us.

NICVA will argue for best use of public funds, a greater focus on outcomes and results and fairness in funding relationships between government and our sector. We do not want to see a situation develop where organisations delivering public services on behalf of government are seen as the easy option and so bear an unfair proportion of any cuts.   

We need innovation and the creation of better services from smart and savvy organisations that will reduce pressures elsewhere.

If we don’t achieve this we are planning for poorer public services over the next 5 years as the mantra ‘doing more with less’ will not achieve better.

For NICVA’s summary of the June monitoring round click here.

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