DOENI loses fight against budget cut

The Department of the Environment Northern Ireland says a 10% cut to its funding next year will mean unavoidable job losses

The Department of the Environment Northern Ireland (DOENI) has serious concerns about major cuts to its funding, saying environmental protection is at threat.

The department’s overall budget will drop by 10.7% to £104.2m in 2015/16, the Northern Ireland Executive confirmed on 19 January.1 Within this, spending  on the environment will drop by 11.7% and strategic planning and policy by 56.1%.

In response to a consultation on the draft budget, published under a freedom of information request, DOENI said the spending plans do not provide a “viable or realistic” scenario for the department and will compromise environmental protection.2 There was a slight increase (£0.5m) in the DOENI’s final budget compared with the draft, but the cut is still larger than for any other Northern Ireland department.

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