Victims Commission acting chairman Mike Nesbitt’s criticism of the timing of the consultation on proposals for a new Victims and Survivors Service could be seen as an attempt to lobby for future funding for the service to distribute. But he also criticises the distribution of the existing £36 million that OFMDFM had made available. From the Belfast Telegraph report
The Executive ring-fenced £36m for victims and survivors over the current three-year spending cycle (the Comprehensive Spending Review), Mr Nesbitt said. That CSR ends in March 2011. Its unlikely the new service will be fully functional more than a few months before that. You may think it inconceivable that politicians would not continue to allocate funds for victims and survivors, but senior figures in the private and voluntary sectors are warning us to anticipate massive cuts in public spending after the general election next year. Will victims and survivors be exempt from an across the board tightening of the belt? It seems to us that, with the best will in the world, the politicians made the money available, but failed to ensure the capacity existed to process it and get it out onto the ground. Thats both a shame and a waste.
But if, as he also claims, “by the time the service is up and running, the existing pot of money will have run out”..?