There have already been cuts to our public services here in Northern Ireland over the course of the last few years, but it is inevitable that there are going to be more to come, as it is feared that departments face cuts to their budget of over £500 million in 2023.
There Was A Big Overspend In The Last Financial Year
Part of the reason for this big cut to public service budgets is that there was an overspend of around £330 million in the last financial year, so this large deficit looms large and will unfortunately have to be paid for in the near future it seems. Inflation will make this cut to public service spending even more severe, as the money that departments will receive will certainly not go as far as it once did before we hit double digit inflation figures.
The government will reiterate the need for a more efficiently run service across the board in order to make these cuts less painful to all concerned, but even with better run departments there will be some painful decisions that will have to be made by the hierarchy as to what areas to cut and what to leave alone.
Where Are The Cuts In Public Spending Going To Be?
For instance do they make larger cuts to other services so that they will not have to cut public spending on the health service? And what about social care? A lot of the problems that the health service is facing right now is because there has been not enough resources ploughed into the social care system. There are many people stuck in hospital, or that are causing issues in the wider community that then affects the health service, who would not be there or be an issue if the social care system was working efficiently enough.
It is believed that there will not be any major redundancy drive as a result of this cut in public spending, however there could be a freeze on new recruits in some areas of public services as a way of reducing spending on wages.
On an optimistic note there is a UK budget on March 15th where the chancellor may decide to increase the spending on services if he feels the conditions are right to do so, and if that happens then we would certainly see an increase in the budget for Stormont. We live in hope.