Mrs Lockhart said,
“The funding model for the U.K. regions is short-changing Northern Ireland. Whilst Chris Heaton-Harris talks about more taxes, any additional revenue raised would be negated if the funding model is not revised.
The Treasury contribution to fund public services in Northern Ireland is going down rather than rising. As an example, in England up to 2025, spending will increase by 6% but only 3.6% in Northern Ireland.
We don’t benefit from economies of scale like GB. To provide vital services, we need a disproportionately larger public service, and for as long as we receive 3% of what England needs under the Barnett formula, we won’t and don’t get enough.
Unless there is a total recalibration of how Northern Ireland is funded, the situation will only get worse. With or without an Executive, Barnett will only lead to our budgetary pressures getting worse. Public services in Northern Ireland will stall and get to a point where it is irretrievable.
For decades Northern Ireland’s infrastructure was in stagnation and as a result it needs mammoth investment which we cannot afford, yet to stand still means houses, hospitals and schools will struggle to get built.”