The SDLP’s budgetary proposals will identify more than £4 billion in efficiency savings expenditure reductions, new revenue streams and capital receipts money that will help tackle the economic challenge in Northern Ireland. In addition we will spend £395 million of new money on immediate priorities. Overall our aims are to
(i) protect frontline services and vulnerable households
(ii) provide an economic stimulus package with a focus on jobs
The SDLP’s plans will rule out the need for water charges and any hikes in student fees. Although we have identified significant public sector efficiency savings, we also believe this can be achieved without the need for compulsory redundancies.
We present an open agenda for partnership discussions that can lead to an agreed budget for four years. There is an 8 week consultation between now and when a budget must be agreed.
Protecting Frontline Services and Vulnerable Households
SDLP is committed to maintaining the following front line services at their current level.
(i) current services in Health and Social Services
(ii) housing, fuel poverty and ‘supporting people programmes’;
(iii) Neighbourhood Renewal funding;
(iv) programmes aimed at community regeneration and rural poverty
(v) support for programmes administered by voluntary and community sector; benefit uptake and social security services
(vi) Special Educational Needs.
We also propose additional spending on fuel poverty, social housing, unemployed youth, extended schools and other programmes that help the vulnerable.
Policy Document: Partnership and Economic Recovery