The 2023/24 budget does not make for cheerful reading. Further cuts on top of cuts will be detrimental to our public services and working-class people who rely upon them. If you are looking for a silver lining, you may be tempted to say “Well, at least we have our health!” And indeed, it is true - on the surface level alone - that the Department of Health is one of two departments to receive a slight increase in funding, at 0.5%. However, such numbers are incredibly misleading.
The Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris shamelessly unveiled the Northern Ireland budget for 2023-24 indicating that overall spending would be slashed by 3.3%, representing a cut of approximately £800 million.