Karen Bradley to make statement about Stormont budget

Stormont
Stormont

Karen Bradley will make a statement next week about the Stormont budget.

A spending plan for public services from April in Northern Ireland has not been agreed because no ministers are in place.

Pay for Assembly members in the suspended powersharing administration will also be covered in the Northern Ireland Secretary's announcement.

The allowances paid for constituency office staff should not be cut, she said on Wednesday.

She added: "I don't think that the staff should be punished or penalised for the inability of the party to form an Executive."

It has been 13 months since the collapse of powersharing over a botched green energy scheme and endless political talks have been unable to resurrect it.

Mrs Bradley said there was no final agreement between Sinn Fein and the Democratic Unionists during negotiations which ended recently and her office was not facilitating talks at present.

North Down MP Lady Sylvia Hermon said: "It is intolerable and utterly unacceptable that 90 MLAs will receive their full salaries when they are not doing their job."

Former Assembly chief executive Trevor Reaney reviewed the issue for former Northern Ireland secretary James Brokenshire last year.

Ms Bradley told the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee of MPs at Westminster she was preparing a budget for under-pressure public services.

On the deal agreed between the Democratic Unionists and Tories to support a minority Government at Westminster she said: "All commitments made by the British Government will be fulfilled."