31/10/2014

Draft Budget Agreed By NI Executive

The Northern Ireland Executive has agreed a draft budget for 2015/16.

The news was confirmed in a short statement.

On Thursday, the region's five main political parties held last-minute talks to try to finalise the agreement. The deal will see millions of pounds worth of cuts to a number of departments.

However, despite a deal being reached, it is understood only Sinn Féin and the DUP supported the proposals. The SDLP voted against the plan, while the UUP and Alliance abstained.

Had a draft budget not been reached by today (31 October), an emergency £100m loan from the Treasury would have been lost. This would have left the Assembly at risk of going over its annual spending limit.

In a statement, the parties said: "The Executive has agreed a Draft Budget for 2015/16.

"The Finance Minister Simon Hamilton MLA will make a statement to the Assembly on Monday 3 November when the Draft Budget will be published."

(JP/IT)

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