Executive agrees on an interim fiscal framework with HM Treasury

Finance Minister Dr Caoimhe Archibald has today signed an Interim Fiscal Framework with the Treasury in London, making £24 million available for allocation in Stormont's budget immediately.

Finance Minister Dr Caoimhe Archibald has today agreed on an Interim Fiscal Framework on behalf of the Northern Ireland Executive.

The agreement with HM Treasury will provide an additional £24 million for Stormont’s budget that was agreed by all Executive parties last month, excluding the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP).

The deal was signed in London with the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Laura Trott MP, Finance Minister Caoimhe Archibald, and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Chris Heaton-Harris MP.

The signing of this Interim Fiscal Framework is a significant milestone as we work towards putting our finances onto a more sustainable footing so we can deliver the high-quality public services people expect and deserve.

Following intensive and constructive negotiations I welcome Treasury’s agreement to reviewing the approach to funding the Executive at the relevant Spending Review.

This firm commitment from Treasury starts to address our concerns over a funding cliff edge once the financial package comes to an end in 2025/26.

– Finance Minister, Caoimhe Archibald MLA

Part of the deal is a new needs-based funding formula which means that Northern Ireland will get a 24% uplift in the Barnett formula if funding falls short of relative need per head.

The meeting today also marked the inaugural meeting of the Joint Exchequer Committee between the two governments. This was agreed in the ‘Safeguarding the Union’ command paper.

Our priority has always been to support the stability and fiscal sustainability of Northern Ireland through a restored Executive. 

Today is a significant moment for Northern Ireland and honours this Government’s commitment to a new fiscal framework. It is an example of the better outcomes that are achieved when the UK Government and the Executive work together. 

There’s much work to still be done and we stand ready to support the Executive to deliver on the priorities in both this interim framework, and the financial settlement as swiftly and strategically as possible to ensure the full benefits can be realised.

– Northern Ireland Secretary, Chris Heaton-Harris MP

The Executive also has to publish a ‘comprehensive and costed long-term Strategic Infrastructure Plan’ by Autumn 2024.

A new Public Service Transformation Board, comprising officials from the Northern Ireland Civil Service and UK Government supported by independent experts will provide approval on £235 million ringfenced funding for the purpose of public sector transformation. 

This significant deal will provide the Executive with further certainty and resources to deliver for the people of Northern Ireland. 

We’ve moved at speed to deliver our plan to address the most pressing issues facing Northern Ireland’s funding and will continue to work with the Executive to secure a fair and final Fiscal Framework made possible by the strength of our Union.

– Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Laura Trott MP

The Executive agreed on a budget in April, but the Ulster Unionists did not agree with the budget. They hold the Health department.

Party leader Doug Beattie said on May 1st that there is a “£300 million shortfall in Health funding for the coming year”.

Health was allocated the largest budget at £7.76 billion, but Doug Beattie said the Executive had agreed to “a £183 million reduction in health spending”.

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