Another day, another leaked Northern Ireland Executive memo… That’s quite a budget over-run, btw. And the Fund is to run for 4/5 years longer than anticipated. The leak was to BBC NI Spotlight. As the BBC report notes
The Stormont executive’s controversial Social Investment Fund (SIF) requires an extra £13m of taxpayer money, according to a leaked document.
A memo, in the name of the first and deputy first ministers, and sent to government departments last week, was passed to the BBC Spotlight programme.
It reveals SIF is currently projected to be £13.1m over budget.
The cost of the funding programme was supposed to be £80m, for projects targeting social need and deprivation.
But the memo says it will now cost £93.1m – a figure one government source predicted could rise further.
In the document Arlene Foster and Martin McGuinness say: “The purpose of this paper is to seek the executive’s agreement to increase the budget and delivery period for the Social Investment Fund to allow full delivery of projects.”
SIF was supposed to have been delivered and completed last year. It is now going to be running until 2020.
The proposal to cover the black hole in the SIF accounts and extend the scheme is due to be discussed at a meeting of the full executive.
However, the DUP-Sinn Féin executive is expected to agree to cover the cost. The memo says the Department of Finance has already said the shortfall will be met from what is called “existing annual central capital funds”.
And, obviously, there is no need for a review of this sort of thing.
Nor of the involvement of any transitioning paramilitaries…