North faces £128m budget cut
Mon, May 24, 2010 – Irish Times
Northern Ireland faces £128 million in spending cuts following Britain’s emergency budget.
Cutting the cost of quangos was among the measures announced by British chancellor George Osborne to address the budget deficit.
The Northern Ireland Executive will meet to discuss whether to defer action until next year and how the savings can be achieved.
Selling off surplus government buildings could be among measures taken as ministers strive to avoid cutting frontline staff such as doctors and nurses.
The Scottish and Welsh First Ministers are due in Belfast later today for talks following the budget announcement.
Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness will meet Scottish leader Alex Salmond and Welsh chief Carwyn Jones to consider their financial strategies.
All three devolved administrations are expected to push for more cash to match some of the regeneration money being spent in London for the 2012 Olympics.
The devolved administrations are required to reducing spending by £704 million.
Mr Osborne unveiled plans for an immediate £6.25 billion cut in “wasteful” public spending today - insisting the government is “getting on with the job” of tackling the deficit.
The chancellor, standing alongside his Lib Dem deputy at the Treasury, David Laws, said the reductions would be made while maintaining “frontline” services in key areas such as the NHS. He also announced schools spending would be protected.
Some £500 million will be “recycled” to boost employment and skills, and the rest will be used to cut the Government’s debt.
Forget all the rhetoric that you heard during the recent election campaign. That was then and this is now. The reality is that there will be drastic spending cuts in the North as the new British government attempts to get their fiscal house in order. Let the games begin.