Hanna: Relief for some but SPF is a net loss to local groups

brexit claire hanna ESF UKSPF

SDLP South Belfast MP Claire Hanna has said that funding announced by the UK Government failed to live up to their commitment to fully replace funding from the European Social Fund (ESF).

Ms Hanna said many organisations face an uncertain future and the process has been a mess.

South Belfast MP Ms Hanna said:

“The way the UK Government has handled this situation has been a debacle. We have known for four years that this funding was coming to an end and despite our party and various funded groups repeatedly sounding the alarm, the government provided no clarity to groups until the last possible moment.

“With a matter of hours to go until staff were due to lose their jobs and community groups forced to stop their programmes, the government has finally announced allocations. This has been welcome news for some and others have lost out, while all groups have been stressed out and diminished by the way that this has been handled, and none have a sense of their funding in two years time. Support and services for people with additional needs have been chipped away by years of reducing funding and the prospect of losing lifeline programmes has been a worry for participants and their families.

“The SDLP has been working with affected groups for over a year, making the case at Westminster for these groups to receive the funding they need and for clarity around the scope of the project. This is one of the many negative out workings of Brexit and how that project has damaged the fabric of society here, and we will do everything in our power to limit the damage of remote ministers taking ill-informed decisions."

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