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The financial package offered by Westminster to support the Stormont deal is an “act of bad faith”, Finance Minister Conor Murphy has said.

The Westminster government is to give the NI Executive an extra £1bn to support the agreement.

A further £1bn will be added to Stormont’s budget as an automatic result of spending plans for the entire UK.

Mr Murphy said the package “makes our job much more difficult”.

Stormont to get an extra £1bn from Westminster
“The bottom line is with this proposed package, our public services face a shortfall of at least £1bn next year alone,” he said.

Mr Murphy said departmental officials would examine the figures.

The financial package includes:

  • The £1bn investment as a result of UK spending plans, which will include funding for infrastructure investment
  • The “rapid injection” of £550m to Stormont’s budget, including £200m to end the nurses’ pay dispute and deliver pay parity over the next two years
  • £60M of ring-fenced capital to deliver a medical school in Londonderry, subject to executive approval
  • £50M over two years to support the rollout of low-emission public transport
  • About £245m to support transformation of public services, with money being released depending on the delivery of reform
  • £140m to address Northern Ireland’s “unique circumstances”
  • It is not yet clear which spending commitments relate to the deal and which are the result of the automatic increases.

The honeymoon period after the New Decade, New Approach deal is definitely over now.

In fact, it has passed quicker than any of us might have expected.

Conor Murphy doesn’t like the fact that the Northern Ireland Office has put any of the figures out there because I think he would have hoped, as would some of the other ministers in the new Executive, that this would all still be subject to negotiations.

Instead, Julian Smith published the financial package, saying it’s a £2bn package and that it’s a brilliant one.

Others say, hang on, £1bn of that will be coming anyway and there’s only £1bn attached to this particular deal.

That is not what the local politicians wanted. Read more

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