28 February 2019
DUP Deputy Leader Nigel Dodds MP has welcomed the publication of a 19/20 budget for Northern Ireland, highlighted how the DUP helped shape it and urged Sinn Fein to end its unreasonable boycott so future budgets can be set in Stormont.
DUP Deputy Leader, Leader of the DUP Parliamentary Party, Spokesman on Reform and Constitutional issues and Foreign Affairs
Commenting Mr Dodds said,
“We welcome this budget which has good news for our schools and hospitals with increased spending on those frontline services.
With £20m in 17/18 and £410m in 18/19, we are delighted to see the remaining rollout from our Confidence and Supply deal.
The DUP has been able to shape this budget both through the further allocations from our £1 billion Confidence and Supply deal but also through another £140m to address immediate pressures such as waiting lists which we secured from Treasury. This is new money which would not have been allocated to Northern Ireland. We made a compelling case to the Chancellor and I’m delighted it will help families up and down the Province.
For homes and businesses struggling with slow or no broadband, our ultrafast broadband project is also moving along with a clear pathway for spending the £150m we secured in our C&S negotiations. I look forward to the tender process starting and then the infrastructure being laid. This investment will make a real difference with independent estimates saying it could be worth over £1b for our local economy.
There is also good news for areas of deprivation with £20m from the C&S deal being allocated to help some of our most vulnerable. Mental health services will also be able to avail of a further £10m secured through the C&S deal and £100m for modernising our health service.
Whilst SF complain about this budget they have abdicated their responsibility. It should be a local Minister setting it. Its time for SF to end their unreasonable boycott of Stormont. Whilst they boycott over Irish language legalisation, the DUP will get on with delivering through Westminster for schools, roads, hospitals and mental health services.”