Northern Ireland Secretary hails 'ample' funding for public services

Northern Ireland Secretary hails 'ample' funding for public services
Georgia Pearce

By Georgia Pearce

Published: 05/02/2024

- 09:14

Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris said that the executive of the Stormont assembly has “ample” funding for public services and transformation of health services.

He told GB News: “The package is on the table for an incoming executive. And what's it for? There's a big chunk of it for public sector pay, who are public sector workers who've been continuing to make sure that public services do function here, even though they've had no real political direction from the executive because it wasn't around.

“The health service needs transformation. You won't find anybody across the political divide out here who doesn't believe that…

“There's a lot of things to be funded but £3 billion, over £3 billion, is a big chunk, a big fair and generous sum of money.”

In a discussion during Breakfast with Eamonn Holmes and Isabel Webster, he suggested conditions for a referendum on Northern Ireland’s membership of the UK is not on the cards.

He said: “I have to be completely independent in this because it's the Secretary of State at the time who decides whether the conditions are correct.

“They're certainly not correct and I would be generally surprised to see that in my lifetime.

“There's so many other issues for an executive to begin with anyway, the state of public services, a whole host of things in education, in health…they would massively outrank any sort of debate on constitutional change.”

He added: “The United Kingdom benefits from Northern Ireland's extra help for us in our security services and in fact Harland & Wolff are going to start building some of the Royal Navy ships again, which is fantastic news for Belfast and Northern Ireland.”


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