Wednesday, 26 September 2018
Latest news
Main » Secretary of state unveils direct rule budget for Northern Ireland

Secretary of state unveils direct rule budget for Northern Ireland

10 March 2018

The UK government has proposed a budget for Northern Ireland, which has had no executive for more than a year.

A £12bn Westminster spending plan for Northern Ireland has been unveiled by the Secretary of State, in the absence of devolved government at Stormont.

The budget includes GBP410 million of the extra GBP1 billion that British Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative government promised to invest in Northern Ireland under a "confidence and supply" agreement with the territory's Democratic Unionist Party, Bradley said. It is the second time that the United Kingdom government has imposed a budget since the devolved institutions collapsed in January a year ago.

When Mrs Bradley's predecessor James Brokenshire passed a delayed budget last November, he was merely enacting draft spending plans already formulated by devolved ministers before the Stormont executive crashed.

The £12.6 billion budget - necessitated by the inability of the DUP and Sinn Féin to agree to re-enter powersharing in Belfast - is further evidence of creeping Westminster rule of what nominally are still devolved areas.

More news: Why Pennsylvania's Special Election Could Swing Blue

Included as part of this is £200m spending on key infrastructure projects; £100m spending on a health service transformation initiative; £80m for immediate health and education pressures; and £30m for mental health and deprivation programmes.

"Yet there are acute pressures across public services to be addressed in 2018/19".

Ms Bradley said she had worked closely with the Northern Ireland Civil Service before making her budget allocations.

The North's department of finance said the budget would provide "clarity" for departments to plan for the incoming year while ensuring frontline services are protected.

DUP leader Arlene Foster welcomed the release of the latest tranche of confidence and supply money.

More news: Canada to Get Temporary Exemption From Tariffs

"Departments living hand-to-mouth is no way to run public services".

"That is what this budget settlement will do, by protecting and preserving public services within challenging fiscal constraints".

"It's not good for householders, for victims, for health, for our economy, our colleges or the homeless".

Mrs Bradley said that the budget represented "a strong basis for investment and enables key flagship projects to progress", yet she has made a decision to move some money from capital expenditure to plug the significant gaps in day to day spending.

More news: Anthony Davis Won't Play vs. Wizards After Ankle Injury Diagnosed as Sprain

Secretary of state unveils direct rule budget for Northern Ireland