Northern Ireland

Budget: Extra money for education and health

Stock photo of a classroom Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The capital budget pays for things like new buildings and roads

Health, education and roads in Northern Ireland will benefit from an extra £18m in spending this financial year.

The money has been made available as a result of late spending decisions made by Whitehall departments.

Those spending decisions have an automatic knock-on effect to devolved administrations.

They will also lead to an unexpected reduction in the capital budget, which will be deferred until the new financial year.

The capital budget pays for things like new buildings and roads.

It is being reduced by £52m and finance minister Conor Murphy said it is too late in the financial year to find that money.

"The capital budget was fully allocated. The decision has therefore been made to defer the reduction until 2020-21, where it can be managed as part of the wider Budget process."

Of the additional £18m most (£10m) will go to the Department of Education to deal with immediate pressures.

The Department of Health gets almost £4m to deal with pay pressures with doctors and dentists and a further £1.3m for health pressures.

The remaining money goes to the Department for Infrastructure to provide services to deal with winter conditions, such as road gritting and street light repairs.

Mr Murphy said there had been an option to carry the money forward to the new financial years but "in view of the unfunded pressures in departments... the executive has decided to access that funding in this year."

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