Northern Ireland

Department for Employment and Learning

Image caption The department is responsible for higher education

Budget for 2010/11: Recurrent spending £799m Capital spending £38m

Projections for the next four years: The budget projects that day-to-day departmental spending will fall by around 1.7% by 2014/15.

However capital spending will increase by £28m, a drop of about 25%.

Possible impact: The department is responsible for further and higher education, training, skills and employment programmes.

It faces a deficit of £40m for next year and savings will have to be made at a time when the department faces greater demand for student support and for job training to help the increasing number of unemployed adults to get back to work.

The department has predicted that training will be severely restricted.

It has also warned that higher education will have to bear a significant proportion of the cuts. When the four year period is completed, universities will have had to make up a huge £68m shortfall, part of which may have to be met through higher tuition fees.

The minister, Danny Kennedy, has said he is looking at following the Welsh idea of paying the difference between the current level of tuition fees and the proposed increased rate in England and Wales.

To save money, the department has said it will freeze the annual cost of living increases for staff with salaries above £21,000 a year.

It is also aiming to save £4m by 2015 through staff efficiencies.