Finance Minister Conor Murphy confirms £200m extra for health service - 90% of total resource allocation

Finance Minister Conor Murphy has confirmed an extra £200m for the Department of Health in the October monitoring allocations

By Kevin Mullan
Monday, 1st November 2021, 4:19 pm
Finance Minister Conor Murphy
Finance Minister Conor Murphy

Almost 90% of the Resource funding available, £200 million, will go to DoH to meet COVID-19 pressures on hospitals, tackle waiting lists and fund a pay award for health workers.

The October monitoring round allocations agreed by the Executive will also see funding provided for Special Educational Needs, roads maintenance, and support for first-time taxi drivers.

Mr. Murphy said: “In my view Health should be our top priority. I am therefore glad to announce an additional £200 million for the health service. £80 million will go towards addressing COVID-19 pressures on hospitals. £70m will be used to fund the health staff pay awards requested by the Department for Health. £30 million will be allocated to tackle waiting lists, and £15 million will support health trusts with £5 million allocated to expand the Mental Health Support Fund."

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He continued: “£20.7 million is being allocated to the Department of Education including funding to support Special Educational Needs.

“To assist the taxi sector, £500,000 is being provided for a scheme to encourage new drivers to join the industry. As we go into the winter months, the £4 million bid for roads maintenance and winter services such as gritting has been met in full.”

The minister pointed out that demand far exceeded the monies available.

Bids from the various departments amounted to £516 but the funding available was just £223 million.

“There are many competing demands on public spending and with bids totalling more than double the funding available it isn’t possible to fund everything.

“We recognise the hardship facing families especially in the face of spiralling energy costs. It is disgraceful that Westminster has removed the vital Universal Credit uplift at a time when households are facing unprecedented price increases.

“After the £200 million was allocated to Health there was only £23 million of Resource funding available. This was not enough to meet the Universal Credit bid.

"In order to adequately fund Health and Universal Credit I set out the pro rata reductions needed from Departments other than Health to fund the Universal Credit uplift not just for this financial year, but also future years.

"This option was not accepted. The Executive have agreed to have a dedicated discussion on wider anti-poverty initiatives to help the most vulnerable in society.”