Belfast Telegraph

Minister Danny Kennedy's plea for emergency bailout tp protect public services

By Noel McAdam

Stormont chiefs are demanding emergency cash to protect public services and prevent some agencies plunging into crisis.

Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy says NI Water has no funding for unforeseen events.

And Environment Minister Mark H Durkan says the Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust has been told it may have no funding after this month - only one of many organisations at risk.

Both ministers are seeking to siphon off a slice of unspent departmental cash in the next spending round, due to be decided next month.

But they know the June monitoring round is likely to see further injections into Health and Education - and that money may also have to be set aside to cover the unresolved welfare reform costs.

The hard bargaining is due to begin at the next Executive meeting following today's general election.

Ulster Unionist Mr Kennedy, whose budget was cut by £60m (18%), said significant risks remain.

"NI Water is still £4.7m short... it will need to absorb this shortfall and there is no funding to cover unforeseen events," he added.

Belfast Telegraph

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