Funding formula in need of major reform to deliver effective public services – Lockhart

Speaking after a meeting of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee in Westminster, DUP MP Carla Lockhart has said that evidence from health and education officials to the Committee was further evidence of the need for the urgent reform of the Barnett formula.

By Carla Lockhart Candidate

Upper Bann

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Speaking from London, the Upper Bann MP said:

“Once again the message to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee was clear. The money is simply not there, using the current funding model through which our budget is allocated, to deliver the public services the people of Northern Ireland need and deserve.

Today we heard from senior representatives within health and education. The picture painted was stark. Whilst some may wish to offer false hope to the public that a return of Stormont tomorrow would see an end to cuts and pay awards for workers, the evidence given on an almost weekly basis to the Committee is that the public purse is empty. The finance needed to meet current provision is not there, let alone any further spending commitments.

We need the Government to act. For too long the Barnett formula has underfunded Northern Ireland, ignoring objective need in how it is formulated.

The DUP is committed to ensuring the political and financial foundations are stable for a returning Executive. That is why Sir Jeffrey Donaldson is prioritising the funding issue directly with the Prime Minister in our ongoing negotiations with the Government.

The people of Northern Ireland need effective public services, delivered efficiency. We know the challenges facing health and education, and these are symptomatic of broken services and delivery models right across our public sector. To reform we will need resources. We will continue to work to ensure the money is there to deliver better outcomes for all in Northern Ireland.”

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