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Issue of sum out of the Consolidated Fund for the year ending 31 March 2020 and appropriation of that sum

Part of Northern Ireland Budget Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:50 pm on 30th October 2019.

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Photo of Nick Hurd Nick Hurd The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office 5:50 pm, 30th October 2019

I thank the right hon. Gentleman for his question. I am informed that officials have been making preparations to facilitate its introduction. I can confirm that a draft Bill exists and has been translated into the Westminster format, and NIO officials continue to work closely with officials in the Department for Communities and the Cabinet Office to make further progress towards introduction. I have spoken to the permanent secretary in the Department of Finance in Northern Ireland, and I know that she is extremely enthusiastic to see this through, as we are. I regret that I cannot give an absolute guarantee of an exact time when this will happen. The hon. Member for Belfast East will know why that is the case, but I am clear that the good will and the commitment are there, because we recognise the fundamental importance of the issue raised and the ramifications of the existing classifications.