Assembly Debate: Budget 2024/25

29 May 2024 - by Sophie Smyth

Following the debate in the Assembly yesterday on Budget 2024-25, Stratagem looks at the party’s reactions and outlines the top line allocations for each Department.

The Motion was passed with 61 Members voting ‘Aye’ and 21 Members voting ‘No’.

Minister of Finance Caoimhe Archibald MLA outlined the Budget in a written statement on 25th April. She said she will bring her recommendations on the June Monitoring Round to the Assembly at the end of June, and it is likely that there will be additional funding granted to the Executive.  

The Minister also said that, under the Interim Fiscal Framework agreed on 21st May, additional funding would be available from any Barnett consequentials in 2024-25 and 2025-26.

Chairs of the Statutory Committees told the Assembly they had requested briefings from their Departments on the budget but have not yet received these. This has limited their scrutiny of the budget.

A Budget Bill will be introduced to the Assembly in due course.

Reactions from Political Parties

  • Alliance Party Finance Spokesperson Eóin Tennyson MLA said that those who opposed the budget have not put forward any alternative proposals. He said it is necessary to have a budget in place to negotiate with the UK Treasury. He said the Alliance Party are committed to work with others to oppose austerity, secure a fair funding settlement and deliver reform to put public finances and political institutions on a “stable and sustainable” footing.
  • UUP Leader Doug Beattie MLA said the UUP voted against the budget as they are “committed to standing up for our health service.” He said they would not “voluntarily exit” the Executive. He said that delivering the health service which Northern Ireland deserves will take decades and will require the “unwavering and continued commitment” of every political party.
  • SDLP Leader of the Opposition Matthew O’Toole MLA said the budget does “very little” to “save our collapsing public services or improve [people’s] quality of life.” He said the Executive has not produced a Programme for Government or clarity on key infrastructure projects. Referring to the upcoming General Election, he said the Minister must bring forward proposals on how any additional funding can be used to revive public services.

 Departmental Allocations

Departmental Resource DEL budgets include:

  • Department of Health – £7.76bn
  • Department of Education – £2.87bn
  • Department of Justice – £1.26bn
  • Department for Communities – £856.0m
  • Department for the Economy – £766.6m
  • Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs – £577.3m
  • Department for Infrastructure – £559.5m
  • Department of Finance – £208.1m
  • The Executive Office - £183.2m

 Departmental Capital DEL allocations include:

  • Department for Infrastructure – £820.1m
  • Department of Health – £416.8m
  • Department of Education – £254.3m
  • Department for the Economy – £221.9m
  • Department for Communities – £133.4m
  • Department of Justice – £91.9m
  • Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs – £95m
  • Department of Finance – £38.9m
  • The Executive Office - £10.5m