09/10/2019

Stormont Allocated £31.4m For No-Deal Prep

Northern Ireland's Department of Finance received £31.4 million from the UK Government in August to facilitate plans for a no-deal Brexit, it's been revealed.

A total of £2.1 billion was allocated by the Treasury for such preparations across the UK.

The Stormont Department confirmed the share to the SDLP's Deputy Leader, Nichola Mallon MLA, on Wednesday.

While a large share of the fund has been allocated for roads, vehicle parks, depot capacity and CCTV, the north Belfast MLA has demanded clarity on details of where exactly the money is going to.

Ms Mallon expressed concern that the fund was divided up without any input from elected representatives, and suggested it may be better utilised building houses or recruiting nurses.
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She said: "That is a significant sum of public money that could have been used to recruit 1,300 nurses or build more than 240 homes for homeless families across Northern Ireland. Instead, we're spending it trying to mitigate the economic disaster that's about to happen on our doorstep against the will of our people.

"The lion's share of this allocation is going to the Department for Infrastructure for roads, vehicle parks, depot capacity and CCTV. We need to see the detail behind this spend because that reads to me like border infrastructure. We also need to know what the implications of Boris Johnson's double border proposals are on these plans, given that the money was allocated two months beforehand.

"Civil Servants are being forced to make controversial and highly political decisions with no scrutiny or accountability. In the middle of a national emergency for this island, that is unacceptable."

Ms Mallon concluded: "I have requested further details about this spend but we are clear – we should not be paying to bring on an economic disaster that will cost thousands of jobs."



(JG/CM)

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