Osborne targets NI spending

Resource budget will be £9.6 billion

Belfast. British budget to cut North’s allocation.

Belfast. British budget to cut North’s allocation.

 

The UK chancellor George Osborne has cut Northern Ireland’s spending budget by 2 per cent as part of overall UK government spending plans for 2015-16.

He said the Northern Ireland resource budget will be £9.6 billion from April 2015 to April 2016 – significantly less than the Northern Ireland Executive’s proposed budget in the same timeframe of £9.9 billion.

However, Mr Osborne has agreed to allocate an additional £31 million to the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

The North’s Executive will also be able to take advantage of an additional £100 million capital borrowing facility in the years 2014-16 and 2015-16.

According to the Northern Ireland Minister of Finance, Sammy Wilson, the outcome of the spending round is “as good as could be expected for Northern Ireland”.

“Whilst it was inevitable that we would have to share the impact of the austerity drive applied to the UK budget, the continuation of the UK government’s decision to protect front-line services in health and education has a direct benefit for the Northern Ireland Executive’s Budget. It means that the impact of the reductions applied at a Whitehall level is somewhat mitigated for Northern Ireland,” he said.