Northern Ireland: Political Situation

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Justice – in the House of Commons at 12:43 pm on 8th September 2015.

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Photo of Theresa Villiers Theresa Villiers The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland 12:43 pm, 8th September 2015

Various organised crime taskforces operate in the Northern Ireland context, and in a UK-Ireland context too, and they are determined to tackle those who seek to exploit the border for criminal gain in places such as South Armagh. We will continue to support those organisations. Obviously, much of that responsibility is devolved. I am afraid that is another reason why we need to settle the welfare reform question, because the longer it goes on, the greater the payments the Northern Ireland Executive are paying out in running the old system which is more expensive. That means less and less money is available for policing, hospitals and schools. That makes it very urgent that we get these questions resolved, because without a sustainable budget, no Government are able to deliver on their priorities, and those of course include law enforcement.