Nothing for Fermanagh in the leveling fund announced in the budget

Fermanagh appears to have been left out and forgotten when it comes to the ‘Upgrade Fund’ as part of the Conservative government’s 2021 budget.

Under the Leveling Up Fund, a total of £ 49million will be awarded for 11 projects in the first tranche of the fund’s allocations, but none are in Fermanagh.

The money will go to projects such as the redevelopment of an abandoned Department of Defense site in Derry into an urban community farm, the redevelopment of the Dundonald International Ice Bowl, the replacement of a former police station in Glengormley with a new business center, regenerating Omagh Health Center and providing new and modernized sports facilities in Castlederg.

Many projects

Fermanagh and South Tyrone MP Rosemary Barton said while she welcomed news in the UK budget that will directly help parts of Northern Ireland through the Leveling Up Fund, there is nothing to support Fermanagh nor for the South Tyrone region of his constituency.

“It is nice to hear that many parts of Northern Ireland will benefit directly from the UK budget through the ‘Leveling Up Fund’, unfortunately there is nothing for Fermanagh and South Tyrone,” said Ms Barton.

“There are many projects in this riding for which financial support would have made a huge difference to help move forward. Projects like the Cuilcagh Lakelands Geopark, the former Enniskillen Security Base, Lisnaskea Health Center, South Tyrone Hospital, improved infrastructure throughout the constituency and much more.

“Unfortunately, there appears to have been no record for this constituency with the Treasury in order to support community benefits.”

While the 2021 budget has been hailed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer as the largest funding allocation to decentralized governments since 1998, the Northern Ireland Minister of Finance has described it as a “tough budget for people who are struggling to make ends meet ”.

Disputed

Conor Murphy also took issue with the additional £ 1.6bn per year for executive departments and said this represented a marginal 0.9% increase in real terms to the executive’s budget next year, eventually turning into a change in zero real terms by 2024-25.

The £ 1.6bn will be added to the annual base funding of £ 13.4bn for Northern Ireland which the Treasury says gives the Northern Ireland executive funding certainty sufficient to plan expenditure during the year and to provide additional future investments in areas such as health, social care and education.

“Rebuilding public services”

Also speaking on last week’s budget, Sinn Féin MP Jemma Dolan said: “Last week’s Westminster budget was an opportunity to present a budget that would have allowed the executive to rebuild utilities and stimulate economic recovery

“Unfortunately, the budget increase granted by the English Minister of Finance foresees only a marginal increase in real terms in funding next year.

“This increase will be far outweighed by increased demand for public services, especially in light of the ongoing pandemic. ”

Northern Finance Minister Conor Murphy has calculated that Mr. Sunak’s increase will only represent a real 0.9% increase in the executive’s budget next year, turning into zero change in real terms by 2024-25.

“Sinn Féin believes that the priority over the next few years must be to support the health service and tackle waiting lists.

“Unfortunately, we are at the mercy of a conservative government in England on finance. Sinn Féin will continue to push for more fiscal autonomy.

£ 1 billion for NI farmers

Other announcements for Northern Ireland include the executive providing £ 1bn for farmers and land managers and £ 9.3m to support fisheries, during spending review, while Northern Ireland will also benefit from its share of national programs including the £ 5bn Gigabit project and the new £ 1.4bn Global Britain Investment Fund will help spread economic opportunities evenly. more consistent across the UK by supporting investment in the UK life sciences, offshore wind and automotive manufacturing sectors.

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About Natalee Broderick

Natalee Broderick

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