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Stormont finance minister joins call for Westminster to ease fiscal rules

Conor Murphy and his Scottish and Welsh counterparts Kate Forbes and Rebecca Evans have come together to deliver the joint message.

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Stormont Finance Minister Conor Murphy (Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye/PA)

Stormont Finance Minister Conor Murphy (Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye/PA)

Stormont Finance Minister Conor Murphy (Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye/PA)

Stormont finance minister Conor Murphy has joined with his Scottish and Welsh counterparts to urge the UK Government to ease “rigid fiscal rules”.

Mr Murphy, along with Kate Forbes and Rebecca Evans, are making the plea ahead of Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s summer statement arguing it will help the regions to respond better to the coronavirus crisis.

They are calling for assurances that will give them the freedom to switch capital funding to day-to-day revenue and put an end to the arbitrary limits on borrowing.

The ministers are also looking for more clarity on details around the forthcoming spending review.

Mr Murphy said it is “crucial” that devolved administrations are “equipped to respond swiftly and effectively to the challenges arising from Covid-19”.

“More financial flexibility can help us deal with these challenges and use our budgets to support public services, protect the vulnerable, and deliver an economic recovery,” he added.

PA