The VSS budget for this year has been reduced from an initial allocation of £11.685million in April to £10million in July. OFMDFM have publicly stated that this amounts to a 4.4% reduction, however this £1.685million cut represents a 14.4% reduction to their budget for this year.
Chris Lyttle MLA said: “OFMDFM are misleading the public over the level of cuts to the Victims and Survivors Service. They have stated that the VSS budget has been cut by 4.4%, however the reduction in their budget from £11.685million to £10million is actually a reduction of 14.4%. This reduction would be difficult for any organisation to absorb, not least one providing vital services for victims and survivors, and is disproportionate to the level of Departmental cuts that the Executive agreed.
“The negative impact on front line services for victims and survivors in Northern Ireland has already been severe. The OFMDFM Committee has also been told that around 3,700 new applicants to the service have yet to receive any assistance.
“OFMDFM should urgently correct this disproportionate reduction and allocate a fair level of funding to ensure that victims and survivors have access to the level of services that they need and deserve.”