Skip the NI Direct Bar
Skip navigation

4.7 International Fund for Ireland (IFI) and other ex-UK Grants

4.7.1IFI funding consists largely of monies pledged by foreign countries including, for example, the USA, Canada and Australia. It also includes an element of EU funding. Clearly, IFI funding, to the extent that it is sourced from outside NI, represents a beneficial injection to the NI economy. It enables more projects to be undertaken than would be the case in its absence. This might suggest that IFI-funded expenditures should be included as benefits in appraisals.
4.7.2However, in appraising individual projects, it should be recognised that, once NI's share of IFI funds has been pledged, it has become effectively a NI resource, which, if not committed to one project within NI, will be committed to another. Thus, the use of IFI funds in one project means the loss of the opportunity to undertake another project. In short, all expenditure funded by the IFI represents a NI resource cost at project level.
4.7.3None of this conflicts with the position of the IFI as a body which is independent of Government, draws up its own policies for the deployment of its resources, and considers and approves each project. However, the proposed approach recognises that the use of funds committed to NI by the IFI has an opportunity cost, and that the alternative uses to which they might be put deserve to be appraised with the same rigour as other resources which are pledged to NI.
4.7.4Thus IFI funds, once pledged to NI, should be treated as NI resources. Accordingly, all expenditures funded by the IFI should be included at their full cost in all relevant options in economic appraisals.
4.7.5The principles for IFI grants apply equally to any other grants and donations from outside NI. They represent a beneficial injection to the NI economy, but once pledged to NI, they have an opportunity cost which should be accounted for in appraisals. All such grants or donations should be considered to have an opportunity cost unless they are not pledged to NI and would be lost to NI if the individual option or project under consideration did not proceed.

Read on to State Aid

Back to Topic Index