Draft Budget 2021-22 consultation

Employers For Childcare has published its written consultation response to the Draft Budget 2021-22 which sets out the Northern Ireland Executive’s proposed spending plans across all departments.

In our response, we focused on the pressing challenges we face, and how we can ensure Northern Ireland is on the road to economic and societal recovery, and to grow a better place to live and to work. Our specific recommendations are:

  1. Allocate funding to develop and implement a fully costed Childcare Strategy, underpinned by legislation, with close links to other relevant strategies in development, for example, Anti-Poverty Strategy, Skills Strategy and new Economic Strategy for Northern Ireland.
  2. Continue to provide emergency sustainability and recovery funding to the childcare sector as part of the Covid-19 response.
  3. Allocate funding to ensure families and individuals can access essential financial support including by:
    Ensuring there are sufficient staff to deliver the Universal Credit service efficiently
    Continuing to support the independent advice sector
    Continuing and strengthening welfare reform mitigations and adapting Universal Credit processes to meet the needs of individuals in Northern Ireland
  4. Recognise the vital role of the Social Enterprise sector in the economic and social recovery and rebuilding from Covid-19.

We appreciate that the Draft Budget has been developed amidst unprecedented pressures on the financial resources of the Executive and all departments. However, our response is framed in the context of analysing savings in terms of the broader and longer-term repercussions that they could have on society. Download our response in full at the top right of this page.

To find out more about this consultation visit the Department of Finance’s website here.