Belfast Telegraph

Still confusion on where budget axe will fall

By Heather McGarrigle

It still isn’t clear where the axe will fall when Northern Ireland’s budget is finally announced following intense discussion on the issue.

John Hunter, chairman of the Chief Executive’s Forum, told the Business Telegraph that the organisation’s conference on Friday hadn’t yet produced answers about which services would be affected.

He said: “The Executive is still working on the budget and until we have a budget, we can’t identify the strategic priorities.”

Entitled Balancing the budget — reconciling unavoidable spending cuts with active government, the event saw over 120 delegates arrive at the Hilton Hotel, Templepatrick to hear from senior figures from the Scottish and Welsh assemblies, the Northern Ireland Executive and the Treasury.

First Minister Peter Robinson said a budget would be ready by Christmas “one way or another”, and he was confident a four-year budget could be drawn up as opposed to Scotland’s one-year plan.

Belfast Telegraph

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