Other News In Brief

Over £33m Investment Announced To Employ Up To 500 Teachers

Education Minister John O'Dowd has given the go-ahead to a £33.1million investment which will see up to 500 recently qualified teachers employed in schools.

The funding, allocated by the Executive from the Public Sector Transformation Fund, will be used to reshape the teaching workforce as part of a dual approach to a strategic cost reduction scheme for schools.

Minister O'Dowd said: "This scheme, Investing in the Teaching Workforce, which will open to applications early in the New Year, will enable schools to reduce their cost base, through a reduction in their teaching costs with recently qualified teachers filling the place of teachers eligible for premature retirement, that is those 55+. In turn, the scheme will allow those teachers over the age of 55 to retire with recognition of their contribution to education."

Around £57m Announced For Major Road Schemes

Around £57 million capital funding has been allocated for major road schemes to be taken forward.

The funding is part of the 2016-17 budget.

The projects include the New Buildings to Strabane section of the A5 Western Transport Corridor, the A6 road scheme, as well as Belfast Rapid Transit and the Belfast Transport Hub.

In addition, roads structural maintenance has received £46 million capital funding for next year.
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Sinn Féin MLA Cathal Ó hOisín said: "The funding package announced today for the A6 road upgrade is the most significant funding announcement for this vital infrastructure project.

"This is the announcement we have been waiting on for 50 years.

"We have been campaigning for the upgrade of the A6 for many years and it is encouraging to see funding now in place to take this project forward.

"It would help transform the economy of the entire north west region and dramatically reduce journey times between Belfast and Derry."

DUP Welcomes Tax Murphy Tax Evasion Conviction

DUP MLA William Irwin has welcomed the conviction of Thomas 'Slab' Murphy on charges of tax evasion as a victory against cross-border crime.

The Newry & Armagh MLA said: "There are some people in Northern Ireland, and in the Republic who seem to believe they are above the law. The fight against cross-border crime is being stepped up and today’s conviction is a welcome victory in that battle.

"In tandem with the strategy now in place to combat paramilitary gangsterism I hope that we will see many other such individuals standing before a court in the future.

"There has always been a lot speculation about Mr Murphy's role in society and his standing. Today we have confirmation that he is a criminal and I would hope that no one would have any problems referring to him as such."


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