The Secretary of State today announced the 2023/24 Budget for Northern Ireland. This will see Northern Ireland departments receive Pound 14.2bn resource and Pound 2.2bn capital. This compares to Pound 14.3bn resource and Pound 2.1bn capital in 2022/23.
As a result of the Northern Ireland 2023/24 Budget, the total amount allocated to Departmental budgets will reduce by 0.4%. However, this does not fully reflect the extent of the pressures facing individual departments due to inflation, rising costs, increasing demands and pay pressures. In order to live within the funding available difficult decisions will have to be taken.
Following publication of the Budget, Departments will now work through the implications for their Department and the services they provide.
The UK Government's decision to not impose repayment of the Pound 297 million reserve claim in 2023/24 recognises the extremely challenging financial position this would have presented for Departments at the beginning of the financial year. Any Barnett consequentials received during the 2023/24 financial year, up to the amount due will not be provided to Northern Ireland instead they will be offset against the reserve claim repayment. While the quantum of Barnett consequentials is not yet known this would mean that any extra funding for UK wide initiatives such as national pay agreements would see Northern Ireland not receiving the equivalent share of funding via the Barnett formula.
If any future in year Barnett consequentials in 2023/24 do not amount to Pound 297 million, previously announced Northern Ireland funding packages will also be reallocated to repay the reserve claim, with the residual to be repaid in 2024-25.