Roads Abandoned In Tough Economic Times

Bids worth up to £56m for roads and social housing in Northern Ireland have been rejected due to insufficient funds, it has been revealed.

Speaking at the Northern Ireland Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy annual conference in Newcastle, Stormont Finance Minister Sammy Wilson warned "tough times now lie ahead".

"The next four years, and perhaps beyond, are going to be one of the most difficult periods for planning public expenditure in living memory. The expenditure cuts we face are a certainty," he said.

"The continuous growth in public expenditure that we have enjoyed is over; we are in a different world now.
News Image
"The magnitude of the expected cuts and the tough choices that have to be made mean we have to plan carefully and do it now. Pain is inevitable, but however difficult it is going to be we have to approach it in a constructive way. Wringing our hands or whinging about it won’t take us anywhere, we have to get on and deal with it. This is what people expect of us; this is what devolution is about.

"When making these tough decisions, I am firmly of the view that growing our economy must be the number one priority if we are to improve living standards locally. Our future expenditure allocations must reflect this priority."

Rejected projects include a £34m roads maintenance scheme, £22m social housing development and a Roe Valley hydro-electric scheme

The Minister warned of the importance of preparing for the impending cuts and said: "We cannot just wait the outcome of the spending review and then respond to give people the decisions they need.

"The onus is on me as Finance Minister to develop a budget that charts the proper way forward. I will do this and I will continue to work with all Executive Ministers to seek to agree our priorities and to seek out where financial savings can be made."


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

06 December 2019
Cash Machines Stolen From Antrim Tesco
Police have recovered a double ATM machine that was ripped from the wall of a supermarket in Antrim. The theft took place overnight in the town's Castle Way area. Officers responded to the incident shortly after 3am on Friday morning, 06 December, to discover a digger on fire and the unit housing two machines stolen.
05 December 2019
Public Urged To Order Repeat Prescriptions
As we approach the Christmas and New Year holidays, patients on regular medication are urged to plan ahead and order their repeat prescriptions. Some 15,000 calls have been made to GP Out of Hours services from people who have ran out of medicine or forgotten to order their repeat prescriptions.
03 December 2019
Other News In Brief
PSNI Appeal Over Reports Of Goats On The Loose Police have appealed for help after several reports of goats on the loose in Larne. The 4-5 goats are believed to have been roaming free in the area of the A8, close to the BP garage, however each time officers attended they were no longer there.
10 December 2019
Second Man Due In Court Over ATM Theft
A second man is due in court today, Tuesday 10 December, in connection with the theft of a double ATM machine in Antrim. The 28 year-old is facing charges of conspiracy to steal and possession of a class B controlled drug. A digger was used to prise the cash dispensers from the wall of a Tesco supermarket on Friday morning, 06 December.
04 December 2019
Other News In Brief
UFU Welcome Cash Flow Boost For NI Farmers The Ulster Farmers' Union has welcomed confirmation from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs that 99% of farmers will soon receive their full direct payments.