Press release: Written Ministerial Statement: Northern Ireland Finances

first_img As part of setting a budget, it is essential that the UK Government provides clarity on the regional rate. This budget position has been constructed on the basis of an increase in the domestic regional rate of 4.5%. I consider that this is a necessary and important step to continue to support public services, particularly in health and education. The non-domestic rates would rise only at 1.5%, in line with inflation. Conscious of the interest of many stakeholders in the scheme, I can also confirm that this budget settlement would provide the basis for the Small Business Rate Relief to continue. This includes £80m in support for immediate health and education pressures; £30mto support programmes to address issues of mental health and severe deprivation; £100m for ongoing work to transform the health service in line with the broad-based consensus fostered by the Bengoa report; and a £200m boost in capital spending for key infrastructure projects. Furthermore, in recognition of the lack of opportunity for more fundamental service reconfiguration over the last 12 months, this Budget position allows for £100m in flexibility to enable existing capital funding to be used to address public services resource pressures in 2018/19. This additional funding will be transferred in due course only with Parliament’s full authorisation, in line with the long-established Estimates process. 2018/19 Budget allocations Yet there are acute pressures across public services to be addressed in 2018/19. And clarity is required now to enable planning to proceed for the year ahead. It is now imperative, therefore, that the UK Government provides clarity and certainty around Northern Ireland finances for 2018/19. Permanent Secretaries cannot, of course, take the full range of decisions that would be available to Ministers. In that context, the UK Government shall continue to support the Northern Ireland administration, and to do whatever is necessary to meet our responsibilities to the people of Northern Ireland. During the course of the past 13 months, in the absence of an Executive and Assembly in Northern Ireland, the UK Government has worked tirelessly to facilitate the restoration of devolved government. It had been my firm hope that a new Executive would be in place to set a budget. That will now not be possible in time for plans to be put in place for the forthcoming financial year. In the absence of local Ministers, and given the proximity of the next financial year, it would not be appropriate for the UK Government to seek to take fundamental decisions about service delivery and transformation at this time. Yet we must act to secure public services and enable NI departments to meet urgent pressures in health and education. That is what this budget settlement will do, by protecting and preserving public services within challenging fiscal constraints. This settlement also delivers £410m in financial support arising from the financial annex to the Confidence and Supply Agreement between the Conservative Party and the Democratic Unionist Party. Implementing decisions within the overall allocations Regional rate I set out below the resource and capital allocations which I consider to be the most balanced and appropriate settlement for Northern Ireland departments. It would be open to a restored Executive, of course, to consider and revise the position I have set out. PDF, 107KB, 2 pages On the resource side, it delivers real-terms increases for health and education from their 2017/18 opening baseline. It also delivers cash terms increases for the Departments of Justice; Infrastructure; and Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs. Elsewhere departments would either be cash-flat or see small decreases, with notable reductions only for the two central departments (Finance and the Executive Office). For capital, it provides a strong basis for investment and enables key flagship projects to progress. Confidence and Supply funding Transformation Table 1 & 2: Northern Ireland Finances This statement outlines overall allocations, based on my assessment of the options currently available to the NI departments. To the extent possible, the consequent prioritisation of resources within NI departments will need to be undertaken by Permanent Secretaries, as has been the case during the past year. The position will be monitored throughout the year and, where possible, resources reallocated to the highest priority areas in the normal way. In deciding on these allocations I have engaged intensively with the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS) to understand the needs of departments as they continue to work to deliver the draft Programme for Government. I have reflected too on the response to the budget briefing published by the NICS before Christmas, and discussed the budget situation with the main parties in Northern Ireland. But, as the NICS budget briefing made clear, transformation is needed in a number of areas to make services sustainable in the long term. The urgent work to prepare for this must proceed. To that end, the Budget includes a £4m fund to prepare the ground for transformation, alongside the £100m set out for health transformation above. I also recognise that this budget only allocates resources for 2018/19 and the NI departments will need urgently to plan for future years. In that context, it is right that the NICS should continue to take forward preparatory work which could assist with balancing the budget in 2019/20. This will ensure that options are kept open for a restored Executive to consider as part of future budget processes.last_img read more

Cops Identify Pair in Commack Motor Inn Murder-Suicide

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Suffolk County police are investigating a murder-suicide at Commack Motor Inn. (Photo: two people found dead in an apparent murder-suicide at the Commack Motor Inn last week have been identified as 31-year-old Omar Torres and 29-year-old Yesenia Abreu, both from Glendale, Queens.Suffolk County police believe Torres killed Abreu before turning a gun on himself last Wednesday afternoon.Their lifeless bodies were discovered by a motel employee who went to inspect the room after the pair failed to checkout.Nearly a week into the investigation, police are only clear about how Torres died—a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Abreu’s cause of death remains undetermined, police said, adding that detectives are still awaiting autopsy results from the Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s office.A police spokeswoman said Tuesday that Torres and Abreu had gone through occasions in which they were romantically involved.Investigators are still trying to determine where Torres got the gun and how much time elapsed from when Abreu was killed and Torres committed suicide.Torres did not leave a suicide note, the spokeswoman said.Neither Torres nor Abreu were reported missing prior to their deaths, police said.last_img read more

Sun shines on autumn sales

first_imgHe too said the decision to buy or sell should not be dictated by the seasons.“Don’t always be guided by the sunshine as being the best time to buy property,” he said.“Sometimes buying in the depths of winter can be advantageous because there might be less competition for property. “Buy according to your situation and when you have your finances organised and all systems are go that’s when you do it.”Mr White said potential buyers should start by writing a list of all the things they need in a property and then work out if they can find a property that ticks all those boxes.“Market conditions can vary but if you are buying to hold, as we would recommend, it is more important to get the property with the right features, in the right location for you and suits your requirements,” he said.“If you have done all the research and are prepared that is the right time to be buying.’’ 87 Gimba Street, Mitchelton is on the market for $1.895m.When it comes to buying and selling, most people think Spring is the prime time for the property market.And while the number of listings tend to increase along with the temperature, Ray White New Farm agent Christine Rudolph said buyers and sellers should not discount the autumn months.“If you want to sell your home, now is the best time of the year to be on the market,” Ms Rudolph said.“While Spring selling season is the most popular time of year to list for sale, it is actually Autumn when more homes sell.” Troy Cassar-Daley’s ready to let go Queenslander and art collection up for grabs What would you trade for a luxury apartment and yacht? Property ticks boxes for richest female CEO “In my experience I’ve found there are not as many properties listed for sale in Autumn which means there is more competition from buyers for what is on the market.”Ms Rudolph currently has nine listings, two under contract. She said with fewer properties on the market during the cooler months, competition for houses and units could produce record sales.“I’ve already noticed more people turning out to open homes and my expectation is that will increase in the coming weeks,” she said.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus13 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market13 hours ago“Unlike the Southern capitals Brisbane values have remained fairly stable in the last year and it still represents good buying compared to prices in Sydney and Melbourne.’’CoreLogic Australia’s head of real estate Geoff White said the decision on when to sell or buy was a personal one, but warned buyers that hanging out for “the bottom of the market” could result in them missing out on their perfect home. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:58Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:58 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD432p432p216p216p180p180pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenHow much do I need to retire?00:58 FOLLOW COURIERMAIL REAL ESTATE ON FACEBOOK MORE REAL ESTATE NEWSlast_img read more

Batesville principal earns District 10 honor

first_imgBatesville, In. — The Indiana Association of School Principals (IASP) announced that Batesville High School Principal, Mr. Andy Allen, has been selected as the 2018 District 10 High School Principal of the year. District 10 is located in southeast Indiana and is made up of Dearborn, Decatur, Fayette, Hancock, Jennings, Ripley, Rush, Shelby, and Union Counties.District High School Principals of the Year are elected by their peers. One principal is honored from each of the 12 districts. From these 12 District High School Principal winners, one is chosen as the 2018 State High School Principal of the Year. The State winner will be announced at the IASP award celebration this fall.last_img read more