The Spring Budget and what it means for our sector
This year's Budget will mean an additional £130m for public spending in Northern Ireland over the next two years.
This afternoon the Spring 2023 Budget has been announced by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt. NICVA have been breaking it down to see what it practically means for the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector in Northern Ireland.
As per the Barnett formula, devolved countries are allocated funding based on changes in funding for devolved services in England, and the countries population size. Usually politicians in Stormont would be tasked with deciding how the extra money will be spent across services throughout the country. However, with the executive not functioning, the responsibility will likely fall to the Secretary of State, The Rt Hon Chris Heaton-Harris MP and Civil Servants. How the extra money in Northern Ireland will be spent is therefore not clear, and so it is also unclear if elements of the budget such as allocation of £100 million to charities in England and support for childcare for all children over 9 months will be replicated in Northern Ireland.
Energy Bills for domestic customers are set to increase as the Energy Price Guarantee changes, and it’s support lessens at the end of March for Northern Ireland Households. Although NICVA has welcomed the support so far, we will continue to press for further support that matches that of the rest of the UK. This has been one of our ‘6 Key Asks’ throughout the Cost of Living Crisis.
We will also continue to press for further support of commercial customers as we move from the Energy Bill relief Scheme to the Energy Bills Discount Scheme.
As always, NICVA will aim to lobby decision makers to ensure the VCSE sector is not overlooked, especially in such difficult times.
Full information on the UK Spring 2023 Budget can be found here.
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