£370 million hole in NI budget

The BBC has got its hands on an internal memo suggesting £370 million in savings need to be identified by the Northern Ireland Executive by Christmas.

He [Sammy Wilson] said cuts of £200m were required from current expenditure, as well as £172m from capital spending.

  • fair_deal

    Interesting paper by Vince Cable on the public finances, he makes an important point about how reductions in public expenditure need to be managed.

    “Existing spending has to be justified, not simply assumed to be necessary and trimmed at the edges.
    The traditional method of “salami slicing” with across-the- board cuts to all services without any priorities being set, causes considerable damage to valued services. Instead, a systematic process of selecting high and low priorities for public spending is needed.”

    http://www.reform.co.uk/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=RQ0obqjHA9A=&tabid=118
    Note pdf file

  • joeCanuck

    Ah the fun of governing. Much harder than standing on the sidelines shouting “Lundy”.

    Worry worry worry.

  • otto

    Do Vince’s numbers contribute to our £370M?

    Here’s a suggestion;

    Reset rates to 100% after one year’s breathing space for any lazy bastard developer who buys up great chunks of Belfast and then just lets it rot. Only grant vacant possession for cleared land or space in buildings actively advertised for rent.

    That’s got to be worth a few million more in rates – and if not at least we either get a tidier city, release land for development or give some construction/demolition people some work to do.

  • Glencoppagagh

    What % of the total budget is £370m? It doesn’t sound an enormous figure in relative terms.
    And of course our esteemed leaders may yet return from New York bearing gifts.
    All this dissident activity is helpful in reminding Brown of the dangers of a “funding vacuum”.

  • fair_deal

    Glen

    It’s about 3.9% of the total block grant (if memory serves)

  • Comrade Stalin

    otto, I used to believe that but it’s probably unfair. What if you’re a developer who genuinely cannot develop the land, and you go bankrupt due to having to pay such rates ? The government might end up taking over the land – and then the taxpayer has to pay for its upkeep.

    These problems are not easy to solve. Developers do have it easy and they do flout the regulations to an alarming degree, but whatever we do to fix this needs to be fair and encourage development where it is appropriate.

  • Glencoppagagh

    Fair Deal
    Thanks for that. I didn’t think it would be more than 5%. The real pain is still to come (hopefully) unless Robinson and McGuinness can persuade Westminster that we’re still a very, very special case.

  • aquifer

    ‘Reset rates to 100% after one year’s breathing space for any lazy bastard developer who buys up great chunks of Belfast and then just lets it rot.’

    A very sound idea, given that government essentially prevented land values collapsing to something like zero.

    They owe us.

    If some go bust too bad, the land assets will move on to another owner who has better ideas what to do with them.

    ‘The government might end up taking over the land – and then the taxpayer has to pay for its upkeep.’

    They would sell it on quickly surely. Someone can use it, at least to park or grow something.

  • William Samson

    Just so long as no-one notices the place where 1 in three is employed by the government and that they are responsible for 63% of GDP and are subsidized by the Government to the tune of £7 billion a year