Financial plan of the Stormont agreement defended by Julian Smith

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Julian Smith was the “largest injection of new money in Northern Ireland in more than a decade”

NI secretary Julian Smith has rejected criticism of the government’s financial package to support the agreement to restore Stormont.

Finance Minister Conor Murphy described the package as an “act of bad faith.”

But Smith said it was “the largest injection of new money in Northern Ireland in more than a decade.”

The Westminster government will give the Executive an additional £ 1 billion to support the agreement.

  • Stormont will receive £ 1bn extra from Westminster

An additional £ 1 billion will be added to the Stormont budget as an automatic result of spending plans for the entire United Kingdom.

It is part of the agreement of the new approach of the new decade to restore the return of Northern Ireland.

Speaking in the House of Commons on Thursday, Smith warned Northern Ireland parties about the “strict conditions linked” to the financial package and called for a transformation in how spending is controlled.

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Conor Murphy was appointed finance minister when the Executive reformed on Saturday

On Wednesday, Mr. Murphy said the financial package “makes our [NI executive] I work a lot harder. “

“The conclusion is that with this proposed package, our public services face a deficit of at least £ 1 billion just next year,” he said.

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Westminster money

The government financial package includes:

  • £ 1bnNI participation in UK spending plans

  • £ 550mto the Stormont budget, which includes £ 200 million to pay the nurses’ salary

  • £ 60mRingfenced to deliver a Londonderry medical school

  • £ 50mmore than two years to support low-emission public transport

  • £ 245mto support the transformation of public services

  • £ 140mto address the “unique circumstances” of Northern Ireland

Source: Northern Ireland Office

Smith expressed disappointment that politicians in Northern Ireland had already ruled out the introduction of charges for water and other rate increases.

“The taxpayers of Northern Ireland deserve to know that their money is being used efficiently and effectively,” he said.

The NI secretary of state faced criticism from opposition parties and NI parliamentarians about the level of funding promised.

The honeymoon period after the new decade, the New Approach agreement is definitely over now.

In fact, it has happened faster than any of us could have expected.

Conor Murphy does not like the fact that the Office of Northern Ireland has published some of the figures because I think he would have expected, like some of the other ministers in the new Executive, that all this would still be subject to negotiations .

Instead, Julian Smith published the financial package, saying that it is a £ 2 billion package and that it is brilliant.

Others say, wait, £ 1 billion of that will come anyway and there is only £ 1 billion associated with this particular agreement.

That is not what local politicians wanted.

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Colum Eastwood requested guarantees on the financing of a medical school in Magee

The NI secretary of state faced criticism from opposition parties and NI parliamentarians about the level of funding promised.

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said there was a gap between the commitments made by both governments and the financial package that needed to be addressed.

He also asked for guarantees on the financing of a medical school in Londonderry and for increasing the number of students to create a “full-size” university in the city.

Jeffrey Donaldson of the DUP also sought assurances that the money pending his party’s trust and supply agreement with the conservatives would be available to the NI executive.

In response to concerns about the level of funding provided, Smith described the financial package as a “good start” and said the government would positively consider other challenges in future budgets.

He added that Northern Ireland already receives 20% more funding than any other part of the United Kingdom.

Smith asked executive ministers to set their priorities on the best way to spend money now on offer.

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