Northern Ireland news

Extra funds for health, education and infrastructure but cuts to Stormont capital budget

Conor Murphy said changes to budgets by Treasury would normally be known well in advance

THREE Stormont departments are to receive extra funds towards their resource budgets but the additional cash comes against a background of cuts to executive's future capital spending.

In a written statement, finance minister Conor Murphy yesterday said the new spending allocations were due to late changes made by the Treasury to the 2019-20 departmental expenditure limit (Del) budget.

The Department of Education will get £10m to address pressures in the schools sector and the Department for Infrastructure will receive £3m to deal with winter conditions, while the health has been given £3.7m for doctors and dentist pay pressures.

Mr Murphy said changes to budgets by the Treasury would normally be known well in advance and it was "unusual for significant changes to be notified at this late stage".

He said that while the spending changes saw a £18m net increase in the executive resource budget, there was a net decrease of £52m in capital and a decrease of £59m

in financial transaction capital (FTC) when compared with changes to budgets anticipated in January.

The minister said the executive's capital budget had been fully allocated in the January monitoring round and the Treasury reductions would therefore deferred until 2020-21.

Mr Murphy joined his counterparts in Scotland and Wales at the weekend in urging the British government to hold urgent talks ahead of next month's Westminster budget.

In a joint letter, the finance ministers from the devolved administrations also sought clarity on plans for a forthcoming comprehensive spending review.

The Stormont executive is due to publish a budget before the British government reveals its spending plans on March 11.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe from just £1 to get full access

Northern Ireland news