After yesterday’s discussions at Stormont Castle, the DUP leader said: “It is evident that the funding formula for Northern Ireland at the moment takes us below the rest of the United Kingdom.
“This myth that Northern Ireland is excessively funded is that – it’s a myth.
“We have a shortfall, a significant shortfall in our funding here, the need is not being met. We’re not even able to fund our basic public services because that funding formula has got out of sync.
“It is no longer fit for purpose. It needs to change. That’s where our focus is, not on introducing additional fiscal measures that will put more burdens on the people of Northern Ireland, on hard-pressed working families in Northern Ireland.
“It’s about ensuring that the government delivers what it says it is doing but is not actually delivering, which is that Northern Ireland is funded fairly and equitably.”
Sir Jeffrey said the Barnett formula, which largely decides Stormont’s budget allocations from the UK Treasury, needs to be readjusted to provide more funding.
Alliance Party leader Naomi Long said Northern Ireland is in an “unprecedented position” in terms of its public finances.
She said: “We cannot cut our way out of this crisis, nor can we reform our way out of this crisis. Asking the public to pay more for less when it comes to public services is not a solution.”
In a statement NI Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris said: “Northern Ireland’s finances are not on a sustainable trajectory.
“For Northern Ireland to balance the books and have a prosperous future, that requires fiscal responsibility with public spending.
“The UK government has given £7 billion in additional funding to Northern Ireland since 2014 on top of the Barnett-based block grant and we stand ready to continue supporting a restored executive.
“That’s why we are looking at improvements to Northern Ireland’s finances, including revenue-raising measures.
“We need the executive back in place to progress much-needed and long-promised public spending and improve services for people.”