Updated: Over £260m to be cut from policing spend over next four years – but £171m to be added

The headline figures in the draft Northern Ireland budget re-allocation indicated only relatively small changes to the current expenditure of the NI Department of Justice up to 2014/15.  Three years of consecutive cuts – £10.6million in 2011/12, £24.1million in 2012/13 and £22 .3million in 213/14 – followed by a slight increase of £9.7million in 2014/15.

But, as the BBC reports, the detail published today by the NI Department of Justice reveals that the police, in particular, are expected to find significant levels of “savings” in each of the next 4 years.  As the BBC report notes

More than £260m is to be cut from the policing budget over the next four years.

Northern Ireland’s prison service will have to find savings of just over £65m.

According to the quote in that report

Justice Minister David Ford said: “What we have done is to ensure that we get the best possible protection for front-line services.

“There is a lot of work being done to trim the back office costs and to look at efficiency in that kind of area.”

Here’s the table of the “savings targets” in the Resource Departmental Expenditure Limit from the DOJ document [pdf file]

Adds  And here are the draft budget allocations for the Resource DEL within which those savings must be found.

Update  Apparently, the £260million ‘savings’ are partially off-set by £171.1million in funded spending proposals included in the draft budget – see table below.

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  • Cynic2

    Note that Justice Policy ie all the civil servants at the Department and surrounding the Minister have to save – nothing. Other protected areas are the Courts where the budget goes up initially! Now there’s a surprise.

    And when did they release this? On the day before Christmas Eve – a good day to bury embarrassing news

    Some things are clear.

    1 For all the shroud waving they don’t think the dissers are a credible threat (or don’t care)

    2 Wee Davy hasn’t got control of his Civil Servants. They are running rings around him.

    3 Administering justice is still seen as much more important than delivering it

  • joeCanuck

    I’ve seen a lot of elections and budgets come and go, in both countries. I have yet to hear any politician NOT promise to make huge savings by cutting out waste and making efficiencies.
    All Finance Ministers claim that they have found a magic wand and just don’t know how the bureauocrats control them as Cynic 2 points out.

  • Pete Baker

    Update Apparently, the £260million ‘savings’ are partially off-set by £171.1million in funded spending proposals included in the draft budget – see table added.

  • Cynic2

    What does that actually mean? In policing have they carved most of the capital spend out of the existing police non-capital?

  • joeCanuck

    Old accouting tricks of dubious legality, Find clever ways to transfer money for capital sending to operating costs and vice-versa.

  • Pete Baker

    As I understand it, the Resource DEL doesn’t include capital spending.

    Which would mean the £171.1million is for resource proposals – which are not specified.

    And they’ll still have to find £260million “savings” out of the current resource spending…

  • Cynic2

    Resource DEL shouldn’t cover capital but the Finance Minister did say that he was considering transfers from resource to capital to protect capital spending as the wicked NIO and HMT had cut it harder. The PSNI figures look suspicious as there’s a big rise in the additions about when they will start to pay for the new Training Centre. So we need to know what’s going on beneath the headline figures