Parliament

Public Services: Budget

Published date : 21 June, 2023
Beyond the cost of living crisis, there is a crisis facing public services across Northern Ireland. To give one very pertinent example, the chief constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, Simon Byrne, reported to the policing board last month that the force faced a budget gap of some £141 million. That is a gap that can only be met by cutting police numbers further. Given that police numbers are already at 6,500, which is 1,000 below the recommended establishment figure quoted by Chris Patten and the lowest number since 1978, that is clearly a poor situation. Given the severe terror threat, what will the UK Government do to ensure that Northern Ireland has a police force capable of meeting continued security challenges, as well as meeting the needs of the communities the police force is there to serve?

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