Belfast Telegraph

'Too much uncertainty for a long term budget' Stormont's Finance Minister Mairtin O Muilleoir

Finance Minister Mairtin O Muilleoir has proposed Stormont produces a one year budget, instead of for multi years due to the uncertainty around the UK's planned withdrawal from the EU.

The Stormont Executive had planned a multi-year budget however Mr O Muilleoir has advised his ministerial colleagues to instead produce a one year budget because of uncertainty around UK public spending after the Brexit vote.

"There is too much uncertainty in the air," he told BBC Radio Ulster's Inside Business programme.

He added a one-year budget was "the prudent way forward".

The 2017/18 Stormont budget will be produced after Chancellor Philip Hammond's Autumn Statement, when it becomes clear what the block grant will be.

The executive had been working towards a budget which would cover the entire period up until the next Stormont election in 2021.

But Mr O Muilleoir has indicated he plans to produce a separate four-year budget for capital spending that will cover longer term projects such as the A5 and A6 roads.

"It's very important we don't fall into the trap of focussing on where the [Brexit] negotiations will bring us and forget about the here and now," he told the BBC.

"And the here and now is getting young people into work".

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