29/11/2017

NI Gets £20m From DUP/Tory Deal

The first £20 million of the DUP/Tory confidence and supply deal has been released, according to the Department of Finance.

A total of £15m will be provided to the Department of Health and £5m will be given to the Department of Education.

A statement from the Department of Finance said: "A further Budget Bill and Supplementary Estimate will be required later in this financial year to provide departments with the legal authority to spend in line with these revised allocations. In particular, funding committed in the financial annex to the Confidence and Supply Agreement is subject to the full authorisation of the UK Parliament, as with all sums discharged from the UK Consolidated Fund, via the Estimates process in the New Year.
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"The need to access the remaining £30million for health and education committed in the financial annex to the Confidence and Supply Agreement will be kept under review. A key consideration will be whether it would be best to propose accessing the funding in 2017/18 or 2018/19. Treasury have confirmed that any such unspent monies in 2017/18 can be reprofiled into 2018/19 on top of existing Budget Exchange arrangements."

Sinn Féin finance spokesperson Máirtín Ó Muilleoir MLA said: "The finance allocated should ensure that planned cuts to health and education programmes do not therefore proceed.

"We know there are ongoing cuts to the Block Grant as the Tory government, supported by the DUP continue an austerity agenda robbing public services of the support that they need.

"This Tory cuts agenda is further exacerbated by the threat posed to our economy by Brexit when the clear will of the people in the North is to remain within Europe."

(CD/LM)

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