Much of the ‘new’ #FreshStart money is now no longer required…

So, no need for that new money to offset the cuts in Universal Tax Credit. George Osborne left it to the last minute and then deemed that the offset cash was not necessary because he wasn’t going to make the cuts anyway (with it goes the illusion of a better Stormont deal)…

The Chancellor has said that his previously announced cuts to tax credits will not go ahead. The changes would have meant 121,000 Northern Ireland households losing an average of £918 a year.

George Osborne said tax credits were being phased out anyway when the new Universal Credit benefit comes in.
The precise impact of Universal Credit in NI is not yet clear, though previous research indicated it would create equal numbers of winners and losers.

In last week’s Fresh Start deal, Stormont had set aside £240m for tax credit mitigation over the next four years.
That money may now be used to mitigate the impact of other looming benefit cuts.

Ah well, it got the boys and girls through what might have been a tricky week. (Though it is interesting to see that most of the criticism they’ve faced has come from a broad range of parties in the south rather than Northern Ireland).

, ,

  • Gopher

    What does it matter what it mitigates it ends up back at HMRC through drink, petrol or the bookies or goes to the black economy. Could have dualled Belfast to Derry and had something to show for it.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Four word reply … Can we keep it?

  • mushroom man

    Dualling Derry to Belfast is not a priority. Other is much more important that Derry has a route to our nation’s capital in Dublin

  • hugh mccloy

    So the Tories did not know they were going to do this during the end of the Fresh Start Talks?

    So lets look at the maths as they stand
    £585 mil – £240 mill = £345 mil
    £345 mil – £320 mil from absorbing discretionary funds in existence.

    Leave £25 mil not counting costs to administer for welfare mitigation over 4 years, a little over £6 mil a year with full welfare reform power sitting with the Tories .

  • chrisjones2


    Shafted by the Treasury. Quelle surprise. Bet the Irish are happy at all that wasted time and political capital

  • chrisjones2

    Yeah …to help locals escape

  • Kevin Breslin

    I actually think it would be strange to implement the cuts to our Barnett grant if they can’t be used to fund anything. I’d imagine some degree of scrapping some of the mitigation fund to keep the money in NI public services.

    “The way in which funding is allocated to the devolved institutions, under the Barnett formula, means they receive a degree of protection from cuts.

    It is understood that Stormont officials believe the block grant could actually rise slightly in cash terms next year as a result of increased NHS spending announced by Chancellor George Osborne on Tuesday.

    However, in the following three years the amount of cash received is expected to fall.”

  • Gopher

    Okay if you dont want it dual the roads to Aldergrove from the M2 and M1.

  • Mike the First

    Mick, surely the “new” money wasn’t going to mitigate welfare reform and tax credit cuts – the money for these was coming out of the NI Executive’s budget.

    So regarding the money to mitigate tax credit cuts, the Executive now ‘simply’ needs to decide where to redirect that money to (e.g. mitigating welfare reform, or into Departments’ budgets).

  • Catcher in the Rye

    They can’t announce changes in policy to the public before they announce them in the House of Commons.

  • murdockp

    Creating the conditions for new jobs would be time better spent that arguing for welfare money.

    Sure the Republicans and Unionists can offer their people a better future than being on benefits.

  • mushroom man

    That doesn’t facilitate an all Ireland economy