NI budget cuts to have widespread impact

December 8, 2014

Local schools, police services and transport facilities are all set to feel the impact of Finance Minister Simon Hamilton’s Northern Ireland budget for 2015/16, with stark warnings issued of massive job losses and service cuts across the vast majority of departments, as public spending is set to be cut by more than £1.3 billion over the next four years.

Local teaching and education staff are bracing themselves for an “extremely bleak and difficult” 2015, according to senior Education Department Official, Trevor Connelly, who has warned that an estimated 2500 jobs could be set to go to help balance the education budget.

Local students hoping to embark on teacher training courses will also lose out as some 17,000 education and training places are set to be axed as the potential measures impact on  universities, colleges and other sectoral training providers.

Policing services throughout the district will also suffer under the new budget with Northern Ireland’s Department of Justice warning that proposed cuts to its budget will have a “severely detrimental impact on police presence, resilience and capacity and will likely result in the return to desk jobs of many officers who had been moved to frontline policing duties.”

Rural bus services in Newry and Armagh could all but disappear as £65m axe falls on the DRD budget and local transport services also expected to be drastically cut.

Armagh city is one of 13 towns across Northern Ireland which could lose their urban services completely as a result of the cost-cutting and rural bus services whose routes are used less frequently are set to go as services are severely pared back.

With more departments across Northern Ireland now laying out their money saving plans, local services are set to feel the widespread impact of the most challenging budget Northern Ireland has ever seen.