Northern Ireland

Funding NI counter-terrorism a priority says Osbourne

Funding counter-terrorism against the threat in Northern Ireland and that posed by Al Quaeda is a government priority, the Chancellor has stressed.

George Osborne was outlining how the Coalition Government plans to cut the UK public spending budget by a massive £83bn over the next three years.

Almost half a million public sector jobs could be lost across the UK, he warned.

The full impact of the cuts on the NI grant will be made clear later.

As well as the cuts to child benefit already announced for higher income tax payers, the Chancellor has other benefits in his sights including changes to tax credits, and incapacity benefit.

The Northern Ireland Executive will then have to begin the task of agreeing to what extent departments here will have their budget cuts.

On top of those, Northern Ireland will also be affected by the changes in welfare payments detailed by the Chancellor although to what extent may not be known for a while.