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Northern Ireland budget: DUP and Sinn Fein vote for budget deal

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Former US Senator Gary Hart during talks on Thursday. Pic Colm Lenaghan

Former US Senator Gary Hart during talks on Thursday. Pic Colm Lenaghan

Former US Senator Gary Hart during talks on Thursday. Pic Colm Lenaghan

The DUP and Sinn Fein have voted for draft budget for next year ahead of tomorrow's Treasury-imposed deadline.

The deal, which will see hundreds of millions of pounds being removed from certain governmental departments, was struck at a meeting at Stormont Castle in Belfast.

But the SDLP's Mark Durkan voted against the draft, while Alliance Party ministers abstained along with the UUP.

If the power-sharing executive had failed to agree a provisional 2015/16 budget before the end of the week, the UK Government had warned ministers they would have forfeited a £100 million emergency loan from the Treasury.

If the loan had not been secured, the administration would have bust its annual spending limit - a move that would have seen civil servants taking control of financial decisions next year.

Not all departments will lose out under the spending plan, with the health service in particular poised for fresh investment in frontline services.

Finance Minister Simon Hamilton is set to outline the detail of the budget to the Assembly on Monday.

 

Belfast Telegraph