Inquiry into funding formula must be Finance Committee’s first priority, says Tennyson

An inquiry into Northern Ireland’s funding formula should be the Assembly Finance Committee’s first priority, Alliance MLA Eóin Tennyson has said.

Eóin Tennyson Finance

The party’s Finance spokesperson was speaking ahead of the first meeting of the Finance committee tomorrow (Wednesday).

“Northern Ireland is the only devolved administration which has been funded below its independently assessed level of relative need, as attested to by the Fiscal Council,” said the Upper Bann MLA.

“Alliance has been making this case for some time and it is welcome the UK Government has finally conceded a change in approach is required.

“However, the proposed adjustment to our funding formula falls far short of what is required to remedy the issue. Rather than replicating the Welsh-style fiscal floor, the formula instead acts as a fiscal ceiling, slowly lifting Northern Ireland’s funding to a point below which it should never have been permitted to fall in the first place.

“There are a number of arguments for the adjustment to be higher than the 124 per cent outlined. Properly accounting for Northern Ireland’s policing and justice would lift the floor to 127 per cent and there are a number of reasons why the floor should be higher still.

“Ensuring our funding formula properly reflects relative need is essential if we are to deliver sustainable public finances and properly fund public services for the people of Northern Ireland. It is imperative therefore the Finance Committee initiates an inquiry into this issue as its first priority.”