27/10/2011

SDLP Man Slams Reduced Roads' Funding

An SDLP MLA has expressed his concern after a reduced amount of money will be allocated by to structural roads maintenance after the October Monitoring Round allocations.

West Tyrone MLA Joe Byrne was speaking after this week's news that the Northern Ireland Executive had received an extra £22m from the Treasury.

The funds have been spread across departments - with the DUP Finance Minister Sammy Wilson also redistributed millions of pounds in unspent funds.

This includes £30m from the Department of Enterprise about half of which was not spent by Invest Northern Ireland.

An additional £10m has been allocated towards an affordable housing scheme for first-time buyers that he said this was good news for construction sector.

However, the SDLP's Mr Byrne said: "I am very concerned about the Department of Regional Development's (DRD) conceding of £18.6m and, in particular, £17.1m from reduced spending by Northern Ireland Water.

"I'm gravely disappointed that after the reallocation of these monies, which amounted to £13.1m, only £4m is earmarked for structural roads maintenance.

"Given the gross backlog in roads maintenance I believe that much more should have been put into the priority areas," he said.

The Department of Regional Development has been given around £13m, mostly for road improvements and £3m to maintain concessionary fares.

Meanwhile, the Department of Employment and Learning has received £5m for the Steps to Work programme, although it had sought £9m for this scheme.

(BMcC/GK)

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

19 February 2018
Northern Ireland To Play Israel At Windsor Park
Northern Ireland are to play against Israel in a friendly international on Tuesday, 11 September. The match will take place at Windsor Park at 7.45pm. The game comes three days after Northern Ireland play Bosnia and Herzegovina in the UEFA Nations League at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park.
11 September 2019
51% Of NI Voters Back United Ireland
Just over half of people in Northern Ireland would vote for Irish unification, according to a new survey. The poll, published by Lord Ashcroft, found that 45% of people would want to stay in the UK, while 46% would choose to leave and join the Republic of Ireland.
24 May 2018
Jeremy Corbyn Makes First Official Visit To Northern Ireland
The Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is making his first official visit to Northern Ireland today, 24 May. During a speech at Queen's University Belfast, Mr Corbyn said that Labour will not tolerate a hard-border in NI. "Labour will not support any Brexit deal that includes the return of a hard border to this island," he said.
15 May 2018
Northern Ireland Unemployment Rate Falls To Lowest Ever Level
The unemployment rate in Northern Ireland has fallen to its lowest ever level, according to a recent Labour Force Survey. New figures revealed the unemployment rate is 3.1% for the first quarter of 2018, lower than the UK rate of 4.2%, and down 0.8% from the last quarter. The figure is also below the European Union (7.
11 September 2019
Research Highlights Need For Palliative Care Awareness
Enhanced public understanding of palliative care is required to improve provisions for end of life patients and their families in Northern Ireland, research conducted by Ulster University has found.