It is time for a meaningful debate on how Northern Ireland is funded, the head of a leading business organisation has said.
Ann McGregor, chief executive of the Northern Ireland Chamber, also called for an urgent return of the powersharing Executive with a number of Stormont departments facing budget difficulties.
This week, the Department for the Economy said a number of sectors are facing cuts as it deals with a funding deficit of £130 million.
The department also said its officials have been asked to examine the revenue-raising potential of increasing university student fees in Northern Ireland to £7,000.
Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris recently set a budget for the region in the absence of devolved ministers at Stormont.
Several Stormont departments have since said they are facing significant monetary challenges.
The Department of Health said it is facing a shortfall of £470 million while the Department of Infrastructure said its budget pressures may result in streetlights being turned off and roads not being gritted in winter.
The Department for Communities said it is facing a £111.2 million resource funding gap, 15.5% short of what it needs.
Ms McGregor said the budget allocation given to the Department for the Economy, which is responsible for skills, further education, higher education, tourism and economic development, “lays bare the long-term economic challenges” Northern Ireland faces.
She added: “From driving green growth to showcasing Northern Ireland as a place to work, visit and invest, this budget will impact upon every facet of our economy.
“It also risks exacerbating long-standing structural challenges, such as tackling the skills deficit.
“NI Chamber has consistently highlighted that this is not a one-off challenge.
“We urgently need an Executive restored to agree and implement its priorities at pace.
“But we also need a meaningful debate on how Northern Ireland is funded from Westminster to put us on a pathway to transformation.”
The department has said Tourism NI is facing a £9 million cut in funding.
A spokesperson for Tourism NI said this would impact on investment in events, marketing and capital development.
They added: “Northern Ireland is very likely to lose out to other destinations just as our visitor numbers are rebounding.
“We will continue to find ways to make resources go further, working closely with our partners to mitigate the effects of the budget reduction on the sector.”