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Northern Ireland budget is passed despite deadlock

By Michael McHugh

Published 01/07/2015

Stormont has passed a budget for Northern Ireland without reaching agreement on welfare changes.

Money for public spending is due to run out in months due to a £600m shortfall largely down to a row over benefits which is threatening the future of power-sharing.

DUP Finance Minister Arlene Foster warned ministers against taking rash spending decisions without a deal.

Ms Foster said: "It would be very foolish for any minister to continue to spend without any regard to the situation that we find ourselves in.

"Without welfare reform there is no Stormont House Agreement and therefore there is not the flexibility available to us which we require to move forward."

Some of the hole in the spending plans involves other departmental budgetary pressures that have emerged since the budget was first struck at the start of the year.

While the Executive made its budget in January, the Assembly must vote twice a year to secure the legal authority to spend the money.

Belfast Telegraph

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