Action Needed on DAERA Funding Cuts

The NI Budgetary Outlook 2018-20 has proposed cutting DAERA funding for Rural Community Development. The NI Budgetary Outlook 2018-20 was published by the Department of Finance on 18.12.17 and sets out the broad issues that should inform any incoming Executive’s decisions on a budget for 2018-19 and 2019-20. The paper presents a range of revenue raising options and proposes a range of cuts across most government departments.
 
Kate Clifford RCN Director said:
“The cessation of all Rural Affairs programmes is put forward as a cut in all 3 budget scenarios in the document effectively ending DAERA support for all rural community development beyond March 2018. Rural Affairs is a key function of the Department’s work and is reflected in its title. This proposal will have a huge impact on the rural community development infrastructure and will limit the impact of the Rural Needs Act as that falls under Rural Affairs.”
 
The paper also proposes to scale back existing Rural development and Environmental programmes which could affect RDP measures that are not yet committed.
 
 
Kate continued:
“These proposals seem to take little account of the need for strong rural community support in light of the implications of BREXIT for rural and border communities. Resource reductions in the RDP or Rural Affairs programmes would have a significant negative impact on rural dwellers as these schemes are specifically aimed at addressing deficits in rural areas. Cuts in other Departments are also likely to affect vulnerable rural citizens as less economically viable services are more likely to be withdrawn first.”

In the absence of a functioning Executive the Department have published this paper for public consultation. The consultation will close for comment on 26 January 2018 and it is important you contribute your views to the consultation. Click on this link NI Budgetary Outlook 2018-2020 to take you to the full document and to see the details of how to respond.
 
Click on this link to our briefing paper on the Budgetary Outlook

Click on this link to view RCN's final response to the consultation. 
 
The paper stresses that no decisions have been taken as to which income generation measures or funding cuts should happen, those are decisions for an incoming Executive. The paper doesn’t make any comment on the approach if no Executive is in place.
 

It is vitally important that rural citizens and stakeholder organisations respond to this consultation to oppose these cuts and argue for the need to retain the rural community development infrastructure. 

Click on this link to download a draft response letter your organiation can use to respond to the consultation.  You can email your response to budgetbriefing2018@finance-ni.gov.uk .

Please cc your response to aidan@ruralcommunitynetwork.org