Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Voluntary groups 'face funds cuts'

Alex Attwood

Difficult decisions lie ahead on budget cuts in Northern Ireland, Alex Attwood is due to tell voluntary groups.

The social development minister will address a seminar organised by the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA) in Belfast on Monday.

The group says Northern Ireland's budget settlement for 2011 to 2015 is likely to lead to a reduction in real terms of £1.2 billion over the next four years.

Almost half the income of the voluntary and community sector in the region comes from Government sources.

The minister will say: "I value the significant contribution of the voluntary and community sector in working with Government to deliver social, economic, cultural and environmental change.

"The Executive is facing serious constraints on budgets. The economic climate is constantly changing and difficult decisions will have to be made.

"The best way we can minimise the effects in these tough economic times is to ensure that what we support produces results - there must be a focus on outcomes.

"However, we need to work together to ensure that the most vulnerable in our society are protected, that challenges are faced and opportunities are grasped to allow our economy to grow."

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