Northern Ireland

Stormont: Máirtín Ó Muilleoir keen on one-year budget

Máirtín Ó Muilleoir Image copyright PA
Image caption Máirtín Ó Muilleoir said a one-year budget was "the prudent way forward"

The executive could be set to scrap plans for a multi-year budget because of uncertainty around UK public spending after the Brexit vote.

Finance Minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir has told executive colleagues he would like to produce a one-year plan for all day-to-spending in 2017/18.

"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 budget cannot be put together until Chancellor Philip Hammond's Autumn Statement, with its likely knock-on consequences for the Stormont block grant.

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

While he has proposed a one-year budget, Mr Ó Muilleoir said he also intended to produce a separate four-year budget for capital spending that will cover projects, including the A5 and A6 roads.

He said he was also firming up details of a "stimulus package," promising "plenty of actions to build up the economy."

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

You can hear Inside Business on Sunday at 13:30 BST on BBC Radio Ulster.

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