Politics

Stormont deal inquiry launched by NI Affairs committee

Simon Coveney and Julian SmithImage copyright Charles McQuillan

An inquiry into commitments made in the Stormont deal has been launched by the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee.

The New Decade, New Approach agreement restored Northern Ireland’s devolved government in January after three years of political deadlock.

The focus of the inquiry will be on the allocation of £2bn for public services.

Simon Hoare MP said “in keeping with the spirit of improved transparency and scrutiny” in the agreement, “the deal itself must also be scrutinised”.

Westminster allocated an extra £1bn to the Northern Ireland Executive to support the deal.

A further £1bn was to be added to Stormont’s budget as an automatic result of spending plans for the entire UK.

Image caption Simon Hoare, chair of the NI Affairs Committee, said the men had taken a ‘very dangerous step’

The Northern Ireland Affairs Committee chair said: “Our inquiry will assess how the agreement will affect funding for public services and the sustainability of Northern Ireland’s devolved institutions.

“Three years without devolved government left funding and scrutiny gaps in Northern Ireland. Public services, such as health and education, were left short of staff, short of funding, and short of certainty.”

He added that the deal “provides hope that these issues will be addressed with urgency”.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-51799407

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