Robinson challenges NIO budget baloney

DUP East Belfast MP Gavin Robinson has cautioned NIO Minister Steve Baker against misleading the Northern Ireland public over how their public services are financed. Mr Robinson called for a serious look at the Barnett formula used for setting our spending.

By Gavin Robinson MP

Belfast East

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Mr Robinson said,

“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.

The cost of providing public services for a small place is more expensive than a large one. We don’t benefit from economies of scale or critical mass. 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.

For Steve Baker to throw out statistics about spending per head demonstrates that he either doesn’t understand or else he doesn’t care. One way or the other, I will not stand by and allow an NIO Minister to propagate budgetary baloney as fact.

Unless there is a total recalibration of how Northern Ireland is funded, the situation will only get worse. With or without an Executive, and with or without the Protocol, 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 and factories struggle to get built.”

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