Northern Ireland

Public transport and education to get funding boost

Translink bus and school children
Image caption The Department of Education will get an additional £14m and the Department for Infrastructure will receive £9.3m

Education and public transport are to benefit from the reallocation of money across Stormont departments.

The Department of Education will get an additional £14m.

Of that, £6m will be for special educational needs and £8m will be used to facilitate access to school surpluses accumulated in prior years.

The Department for Infrastructure will receive £9.3m to help tackle a deficit at public transport company Translink.

A further £10.1m of capital spending has been reallocated, most of which will go to the Department for Infrastructure.

It will get £8.1m for roads maintenance and the procurement of new buses by Translink.

The Department for Communities will get £1.6m to support maintenance of the social housing stock, whilst the Executive Office will get £400,000 to support infrastructure works as part of the ongoing redevelopment of the Ebrington project in Londonderry.

The reallocation was announced by the Department of Finance which said it came after some departments had identified a number of reduced financial requirements.

In June, the DUP agreed to support Theresa May's government in return for £1bn for Northern Ireland over five years.

The department confirmed that only £20m of that 'DUP deal' money will be spent in this financial year to tackle immediate financial pressures in health and education.

A further £30m of "immediate pressures" money, which was originally supposed to be spent this year, will now be "reprofiled" into 2018/19.

However, the department said that access to this funding requires the approval of both parliament and the assembly.

It is understood that if there is no assembly then a direct rule minister could take the necessary legislation through Westminster.

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