DfI Budget 2024-25 Equality Impact Assessment

Consultation opened on 11 June 2024. Closing date 06 September 2024 at 17:00.


The Department for Infrastructure is seeking your comments on the equality implications of its Resource and Capital Budget 2024-25 allocations, which when set against its requirements for both resource and capital fell short.


Consultation description


The Department for Infrastructure is responsible for the maintenance, development and planning of critical infrastructure in Northern Ireland. Through its focus on transport, water and planning, the Department manages and protects in the region of £37bn of public assets that improve people’s quality of life. The Department is responsible for the oversight and facilitation of surface transport in Northern Ireland. The main tools available for the delivery of the Department’s transport vision are the development of Transport Policy, the management of the Road Network Asset (including the promotion of road safety) and providing funding and sponsorship of Translink which delivers the public transport network. The Department has a number of key responsibilities to ensure that everyone has access to safe and accessible travel. For this to happen we have a statutory responsibility to promote good road safety, reduce road fatalities and people being injured on our roads. 

The Department is responsible for the strategic direction and production of regional policy for land use planning. It also develops planning legislation and processes a small number of regionally significant planning applications and those applications which may be ‘called in’, along with having a statutory consultee role for roads and rivers to provide specialist advice in relation to the consideration of planning applications by councils.

The Department is responsible for setting the strategic direction for water, wastewater and drainage policy across Northern Ireland including developing water, flooding and sustainable drainage legislation as well as the sponsorship of NI Water. The Department also sponsors Waterways Ireland, one of six North South Implementation Bodies, established to promote the recreational and navigational use of our waterways. The Department is responsible for the management of flood risk which includes the maintenance of our river and sea defences, construction of flood alleviation schemes, informing development decisions and developing flood maps.

It is clear that under the resource budget allocation provided, the Department will be required to continue to deliver limited level of services, reduce funding for other essential services such as road safety, reduce progress on actions for climate change and will not be able to respond to emergency response, over and above normal expected levels, such as flooding, infrastructure collapse and major weather events without additional funding or impacting directly on its other essential services. With the reductions to both Translink and NI Water proposed there is a real risk that this will impact directly on the level of services provided, water and wastewater and public transport.

The capital budget outcome will enable some key schemes to progress, for example the Belfast Transport Hub; A5; A1 safety improvements; A4; Newry Southern Relief Road; Phase 3 Derry to Coleraine track; essential rail and bus safety works; and some structural maintenance of our road network. It will not however facilitate the level of investment initially identified and therefore will likely result in the delay on progress for some schemes.

Final budget decisions have not been made by the Minister in terms of the distribution of the Department’s budget, this will be made following this consultation on the proposed options.

Why your views matter

The Department is committed to seeking the views of those who are affected by the decisions that it will make in relation to both its resource and capital budget outcomes. We are keen to hear from individuals and organisations about their views on the equality implication of the decisions being made and about any mitigations that the Department could put in place.

Responses received by 9 July 2024 will be used to inform the Department’s final opening resource and capital budget decisions for 2024-25. Any further consultation responses received after this date will be used to inform further mitigation measures and reallocation of any additional funding available during 2024-25.

Comments on the DfI Capital and Resource budgets, whether to both budgets or an individual budget, and the equality impacts of both can be submitted using the online survey below.

If you are unable to respond using the online consultation facility, you can email your response via email to: budget@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk 

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