Northern Ireland

Sammy Wilson says emergency budget may be needed

Stormont

An emergency budget may be needed if the NI Executive fails to agree a draft budget, the finance minister has said.

Sammy Wilson of the DUP said the deadline was fast approaching for a budget to be passed and implemented in time for the end of the financial year.

However, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness of Sinn Fein told the assembly the prospects for agreeing a draft budget were "good".

NI will be the last devolved administration to agree a draft budget.

On Wednesday, both Scotland and Wales are due to announce their proposals following Chancellor George Osborne's Spending Review.

Sinn Fein has argued the cuts should be resisted and alternative fundraising measures should be explored.

Mr Wilson said some ministers had been co-operating with his department.

"It would be wrong to blame everybody and I hope everyone doesn't get tarred with the one brush," he said.

"I do think it would be seen as a failure of the assembly if we can't agree on what is the most important function of the executive, to allocate the money that is available for the public purse."

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