Aggregate spend in Belfast is probably higher than any other UK city

Haven’t got time to unpack this properly, but I think this is important insight from Mike Morrissey on why despite very high funding levels tackling poverty in Northern Ireland is simply not working

Mainstream service spending per head in Northern Ireland is about 20 per cent greater than the UK  while the region has also benefited from special funding from Europe and the US, a significant chunk of which has been targeted at communities in Belfast. The aggregate spend per head is probably higher than any other UK city.

Accordingly, one would expect outcomes of active citizen and community solidarity, the principle components of social capital. Even allowing for the impact of Northern Ireland’s sovereignty contest, the dramatic patterns of residential segregation and intercommunity rivalry, the achievements of this infrastructure have been less than impressive.

Regarding deprivation, the same set of Belfast wards (40% of the total) have appeared with depressing regularity in the most deprived decile since regional multiple deprivation measures were first constructed in 1994.  These wards have been dramatically more segregated than the city as a whole  and, with just six percent of the regional population, account for nearly a quarter of all those, with a Northern Ireland address, killed by political violence.  Understandably, they have been the primary target of all urban programmes but their prominence in poverty and deprivation rankings remains unsurpassed.

Moreover, overlapping, frequently competing, local structures lead to competition for urban resources that is not easily mapped by the city’s sectarian geographies – contests are within, as well as between, communities. This geography of very small spaces (typically with community leaders who have been around for a very long time) makes it difficult to achieve ‘critical mass’ for any development momentum.

Moreover, one mapping of local social capital found an inverse relationship between bonding and bridging social capital – in-group solidarity, out-group hostility.  Research on local governance in the city has pointed to disjointed, even contradictory, decision making.

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  • Michael Henry

    Here we go again- yet another one who wants to blame the local elected Politicians and not the Un – elected Brit governments of Tory or Labour who said they control us- who maintain that they are in Charge- the Un – elected Secretary of State gets off Scott free yet again-The Tory’s are stealing money away from the Assembly in form of fines and wanting to cut people’s welfare whilst spending billions and billions on stupid military toys for their army- it’s the Tory’s who know nothing about working for the people here and that’s why they are to scared to run in next years elections in the six counties-Run Tory Run-

    Who are these new Leaders from the flag protests who Morrissey calls demagogues-they have not got the democratic vote who ever they are-

  • barnshee

    Here we go again-

    Another failure to recognise that taxpayer generosity is wasted -on a bunch of wasters— who ,in spite of endless generosity by the funders -balls it up again
    Stealing money- how can you “steal” your own money.

    Not another penny

  • SeaanUiNeill

    I blame the whole lot of them. After all, their only answer to social depravation is to set up another study, to be assessed by another committee, and then voted on by our masters (MLAs, etc) and its not even slightly a party political issue as labour were pretty much building this edifice of reports, etc, well before poor Cameron picked up the batton. And “The Tory’s are stealing money away from the Assembly in form of fines and wanting to cut people’s welfare whilst spending billions and billions on stupid military toys for their army” fails to notice that the Westminster Tweedledum/Tweddledee administrations are actually doling out the public funds they are “stealing” back.

    I’d like to see the money spent on some really radical plans to produce some really meaningful employment over and above lazily trying to persuade inexperienced innocents to borrow up to the hilt to set up their own “entrepreneur” businesses, and then using funding they should be getting to sustain the structures that encourage and analyse their failures. Or cynically bribing international companies to locate here instead of China with stiff injections of public funds.

  • Joe_Hoggs

    What sort of fine have the assembley been given that were not deserved?

    I actually was under the impression that certain departments in the executive didn’t spend significant amounts of their budget.

  • barnshee

    “The Tory’s are stealing money away from the Assembly in form of fines and wanting to cut people’s welfare whilst spending billions and billions on stupid military toys for their army”

    Repeats you can`t “steal” your own money

    Remind you —again— -the piper calls the tune

    1 NI is already” subvented” beyond its tax base

    2 You politicians have the power to divvy up the money as the agree/disagreed

    3 The piper having already funded you more than anywhere, else is entitled to spend the rest of his money as he chooses

    You can always raise more money yourselves

    General Rates increase ?

    Water rates ?

    More fiscal powers- put up income tax ?Anyone?