Shortcomings of SIF and the mixed signals we’re sending to successor generations

Stephen Dempster did a handy piece of reportage on the Social Investment Fund. The figure at the heart of the piece, Robin Newton was quick (9.01) to anticipate the Nolan firestorm that followed this morning: “I reject the allegations in the Spotlight programme. I did not mislead the NI Assembly. I have never been appointed to any position with Charter NI. I am not responsible for how others refer to me in their correspondence. I will not be a candidate …

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NI Executive’s £80m Social Investment Fund projected to cost extra £13.1m

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 …

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“It is not just Stormont that has a Social Investment Fund.”

Newton Emerson in yesterday’s Irish News with some details on the other, less talked about, ‘social investment’ funds out there.  From the Irish News IT is not just Stormont that has a Social Investment Fund. Belfast City Council runs the Belfast Investment Fund and associated Local Investment Fund, with a combined pot of £31 million over three years for ‘community projects’. Alliance has claimed the council funds “aren’t advertised properly in any meaningful way”, leaving “those in the know in prime position to …

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DUP won’t intervene on employment matters, except when they will

Arlene Foster refused to echo Martin McGuinness’s call for Dee Stitt to reconsider his role as Chief Executive with Charter NI. The organisation and indeed the Executive is facing greatly increased pressure over the ongoing Charter NI debacle and the Social Investment Fund as a whole. Arlene Foster said, “This man is an employee of Charter NI and they have to deal with him as they see fit, it would be wrong for me to intervene in all of the …

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“This is just the latest example of the (First) Minister(s) failing to spend monies…”

A slight variation on Alex Maskey’s excoriation of Nelson McCausland for failing to spend a cool £26 million in his housing budget last year. [Tail gunner out of control captain! – Ed]  Did no one tell Alex his own party  in OFMdFM failed to spend a single penny of £80 million on actual social need in the two years since the last election. Nearly 1/2 million is already gone on consultants, and they are handing back £15 million unspent. Deadlocked over …

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