Debate around Barnett formula gaining momentum – Lockhart

Upper Bann MP Carla Lockhart has said the DUP’s campaign at Westminster to instigate change to the Barnett Formula is gaining momentum in Parliament, following a meeting of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee today (Tuesday).

By Carla Lockhart MP

Upper Bann

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Speaking after an evidence session including the Chair of the Northern Ireland Fiscal Council, Sir Robert Chote, the DUP MP said:

“The evidence of the Fiscal Council is extremely helpful in providing a sound evidential base to both the deficiencies of the current funding formula, but also the areas in which changes could help transform outcomes for Northern Ireland.

These findings are vital as we seek a review of the funding structure for Northern Ireland.

It is quite clear that our funding package is lagging other parts of the United Kingdom, and as a result our public services are suffering. My colleague Gavin Robinson MP has been a long-time champion within Parliament highlighting our short fall and the consequences if action is not taken. We must move to a needs-based approach. Obviously, we also have transformation of the delivery of public services very much on the agenda, and this too offers opportunity to assess how best public funding is modelled moving forward to provide the best in public services to our constituents.

The Fiscal Council rightly point out that any change will take time. Treasury is not known for its responsiveness to change. Therefore, it is vital that the momentum that we are gathering behind this campaign continues to grow, and that commitments are made by the Government to make the changes needed to finance transformation and ongoing delivery of public services. We will continue to raise this issue at Parliament to this end.”

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