Brexit has resulted in a projected 85% decrease in investment for Northern Ireland under a new scheme set to replace EU funds for economic development, it has emerged.
The UK Government has set up the Community Renewal Fund to replace the EU Structural Fund scheme.
The annual allocation for NI via the new fund was £11m in the 2020/21, compared to the £70m the region would have received from the EU fund. It is estimated the same amounts lost will be similar this financial year.
In response to a recent Assembly Question tabled by the SDLP's Justin McNulty, Finance Minister Conor Murphy also revealed there is a £34m shortfall in agricultural funding over the next three years.
"For Structural Funds Expenditure the Community Renewal Fund, the pilot for the Shared Prosperity Fund, is to be delivered directly by the British Government using the powers of the Internal Market Act," he added.
"It has a ring-fenced allocation for here for 2020/21 of £11m which is substantially less than the £70m we would have received from comparable EU Structural Funds.
"We can apply along with other stakeholders but don’t know what we might secure, so for now the full £70m is lost to the Executive for our priorities.
"Going forward our agriculture funding and any Shared Prosperity Fund details will not be confirmed until the spending review. On current plans I expect the amounts lost to the Executive to be similar to 2021/22.
"I, together with Executive colleagues and other devolved Ministers, will continue to press for replacement funding to be restored."
Mr McNulty voiced his displeasure at the situation.
"The loss of EU funds is significant and the Finance Minister has confirmed to me that the replacement funding streams established by the British Government fall woefully short of what we have previously received," he said.
"That will have an impact on the Executive's spending power and further underlines the significant impact of Brexit on people, communities and services here.
"The Internal Market Act is being used as a power grab to allow Ministers in London to overrule and override locally elected politicians.”
The Internal Market Act act seeks to prevent internal trade barriers among the four UK regions, and to restrict the way that certain legislative powers of the devolved administrations can operate.
Ulster Unionist finance spokesperson Steve Aiken said: “The reduction from EU structural funds is supposed to be replaced by central Treasury funding.
"That we are still waiting for more detail on this, across the whole scope of agricultural, community and infrastructural, is regrettable and is in marked contrast to the £3.8bn we have received in Covid support over the last 18 months”
Mr Murphy added in his Assembly answer: "On a brighter note the Peace Plus Programme is to have over £500m allocated from the British Government, providing a fund of some €1.1bn over the next seven years.
"While this is focused on North/South activities it is around double the funding provided for the current period."
The Treasury has repeatedly stressed the Community Renewal Fund would deliver for the whole of the UK
"The £220m UK-wide Community Renewal Fund will deliver for people and communities in 2021/22, supporting them to prepare for the introduction of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund,” it said.
"We have been consistently clear that over time total domestic UK-wide funding will at least match EU receipts."