Civil servants to control Northern Ireland spending from tomorrow
Northern Ireland secretary says there is “no appetite” for direct rule from Whitehall
Civil servants in Northern Ireland will take control of spending on public services from Wednesday following the collapse of talks to create a new power-sharing executive between the province’s political parties.
In a statement to MPs yesterday evening, following the passing of the deadline to form a new administration after the 2 March elections, Northern Ireland secretary James Brokenshire said civil servants would now control spending to maintain services.
Northern Ireland: what happens now after power-sharing talks fail
The big stink that ended a Fresh Start: what the Northern Ireland crisis means for its civil service
Sir Malcolm McKibbin stepping down as head of the Northern Ireland civil service
He said there would now be “a short window of opportunity to resolve outstanding issues and for an executive to be formed”, and there was “no appetite for any alternative” – such as direct rule from Whitehall – among Northern Ireland’s parties.
More details of the Westminster government’s next steps would be set out shortly, he said, adding: “We are rapidly approaching the point at which Northern Ireland will not have an agreed budget.
“This is not sustainable and will have consequences for public services.”
As a result, spending control would be given to the civil service from Wednesday.
Brokenshire highlighted that since the election, which was called after Sinn Féin left the governing executive following an overspend of a controversial Renewable Heat Incentive scheme, the UK government had been involved in intensive talks to reach a power-sharing deal.
Progress has been made on a number of issues, he told MPs, including developing a budget, a programme for government and schemes to improve governance, transparency and accountability.
“Yet it is also clear that there remain significant gaps between the parties, particularly over issues surrounding culture and identity,” he said.
“Throughout this process the UK government has been active in making positive proposals to try and bridge these gaps and help the parties to move things forward. Despite these efforts, agreement at this stage has not proved possible.”
Request is a first in providing statutory cover for Brexit outlay ahead of EU-exit...
The coalition government beefed up the role of departmental non-executives, and have encouraged...
Public Accounts Committee warns “a lot at stake” with Carrier Strike programme
Next stage in HMCTS modernisation programme could see eight closures
BT takes a look at the shifting nature of cyber threats, and how organisations can detect and...
Microsoft shows a few of the ways that governments can turn data into insight
With the ‘low-hanging fruit’ exhausted, the public sector must approach new government saving...
TCS is keen to contribute to the topic of successful partnerships between the public and private...