Secretary of State to introduce budget legislation for NI

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, James Brokenshire MP, this morning announced he would introduce legislation in the House of Commons to set a budget for NI, after the Parliamentary recess. 

In a statement, Mr Brokenshire said:

“While important progress has been made in discussions between the DUP and Sinn Féin towards the establishment of an Executive, it has not yet been possible for the parties to reach agreement.

“I am, therefore, now taking forward the necessary steps that would enable a Budget Bill to be introduced at Westminster at the appropriate moment in order to protect the delivery of public services in Northern Ireland.

“I would expect the Budget Bill to be considered in Parliament after the short November recess.

“Subject of course to Parliamentary approval, the effect of this would be to give the Northern Ireland Civil Service certainty to plan for the rest of this financial year by giving the necessary legal authority to spend to existing plans.

“The Budget Bill will deal only with 2017-18 and would incorporate figures provided by the Northern Ireland Civil Service reflecting their assessment of the outgoing priorities of the previous Executive."

He added that that Westminster passing a Northern Ireland budget "did not mean a return to direct rule".

The full text of the Northern Ireland Secretary's statement can be read here.

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